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Sung Kim: Discussions on end of war require N. Korea to return to talks

Sung Kim: Discussions on end of war require N. Korea to return to talks

Posted October. 28, 2021 07:34,   

Updated October. 28, 2021 07:34


It was reported that the U.S. said to the South Korean government that unless North Korea returns to talks first, South Korea’s proposal to end the Korean War is not acceptable. In addition, the U.S. government reportedly said that China and other related countries should be involved in the announcement of the end of the war before South Korea and the U.S. discuss their stances on the matter. As it differs from the South Korean government’s idea that the announcement of the end of war is a gateway to resume denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea and dialogues between the two Koreas, some suspect that the Moon Jae-in administration’s North Korea policies at the end of its term may face some issues.

According to multiple government sources on Wednesday, Kim Sung, the special representative of the US State Department on North Korea policy, said the above at a South Korea-U.S. meeting over the North Korean nuclear program on Sunday during his visit to South Korea. While the South Korean government shared an idea to propose the end-of-war announcement based on discussions between South Korea and the U.S. to begin talks again, focusing on the aspect that the announcement is a political and symbolic one, rather than legally binding, the Joe Biden administration has made it clear that the proposal can be discussed when the North returns to talks.

The Biden administration has examined the end-of-war announcement scenario proposed by the South Korean government and analyzed the pros and cons of the proposal. Kim’s response means that the U.S. decided not to agree with the proposal at the moment after internal analysis as the announcement may send a wrong message to the North regarding the dissolution of the United Nations Command or the withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea.

“We may have somewhat different perspectives on the precise sequence or timing or conditions for different steps,” National Security Advisor of the U.S. Jake Sullivan said to a question regarding the U.S.’s stance on the announcement to end the Korean War during a White House briefing on Tuesday (local time). It was the first official acknowledgment on the U.S. government side that South Korea and the U.S. have differences in opinion regarding the end-of-war announcement.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com