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Chung: Talks with U.S. over end-of-war declaration are in final stage

Chung: Talks with U.S. over end-of-war declaration are in final stage

Posted November. 12, 2021 07:29,   

Updated November. 12, 2021 07:29


South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said coordination between Seoul and Washington over the declaration to end the Korean War has already made significant progress but added it won’t be easy to reach an agreement with Pyongyang.  

Asked whether the two allies’ talks over the declaration made progress, Minister Chung answered in a parliamentary session, “That is correct. We’ve reached an agreement for major principles and are currently discussing on the format and the substance of our agreement.” Earlier this week, Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Soo-hyeok told a group of reporters in Washington, D.C. that Seoul and Washington are closely working and even exchanging opinions on the text to be used in the end-of-war declaration.”

Asked if he expects a smooth transition, Minister Chung took a step back, saying he is not so much optimistic as to assume an easy process to reach an agreement. Chung added it won’t be easy as the agreement between Seoul and Washington alone won’t suffice. During U.S. Special Representative Sung Kim’s visit to South Korea last month, the Biden administration expressed its stance that it won’t accept Seoul’s offer of a declaration of the Korean War unless and until the North comes out to the negotiating table.

Regarding Pope Francis’ visit to Pyongyang as he repeatedly expressed his intention to do so, Minister Chung said South Korea delivered an opinion (to North Korea) to consider the pope’s visit to the North during their talks. The foreign minister of South Korea did not specify when such talks occurred. “It is not negative,” he said when asked about Pyongyang’s response, adding the Vatican’s stance that considering a visit should be contingent on a formal invitation from Pyongyang. It is reported the communist regime has yet to clarify if it will send out an invitation or not.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com