Two days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for an end-of-war declaration, North Korea said it is willing to do so if South Korea and the U.S. withdraw their hostile policies toward North Korea. Pyongyang has included deployment of U.S. strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula and ROK-U.S. joint military drills in the hostile policies, all of which are directly related to the ROK-U.S. alliance.
Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said the declaration of the end of the Korean War is an “interesting and admirable idea,” but under the circumstances, where double standards, prejudice and hostile policies toward the DPRK and speeches and acts antagonizing it persist, it does not make any sense to declare an end of war. Kim stressed that the “withdrawal of hostile policies toward North Korea” is a “precondition” for an end-of-war declaration, adding the North is willing to resume talks with the South on improving inter-Korean relations if the South ends its hostile policies.
At around 6 a.m., seven hours before Kim Yo Jong issued a statement, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song targeted the U.S., saying an end-of-war declaration is just an illusion as long as the U.S. hostile policy toward North Korea, which are the biggest obstacle to the end of the war, remains, adding the adoption of an end-of-war declaration is premature. In particular, Ri cited examples of “increasingly vicious U.S. hostile policies,” including “American military forces and war assets deployed in and around the Korean Peninsula and war practices held every year under various pretexts.”
On the other hand, President Moon told reporters aboard the presidential plane on his way to Seoul after attending the UN General Assembly that an end-of-war declaration has nothing to do with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea or ROK-U.S. alliance.
Park Soo-hyun, senior presidential secretary for public communication, told YTN Radio that Cheong Wa Dae takes Kim’s statement as “very significant and weighty,” adding imposing a precondition means North Korea is open to dialogue.