(LEAD) US, South Korea to continue discussions on declaration of end of war and other options for North Korean diplomacy (sent to Washington)

(ATTN: UPDATES with more detail throughout; CHANGES photo)
By Song Sang-ho and Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) – The US official on North Korea said on Sunday he was eager to continue exploring different options with South Korea to resume dialogue with Pyongyang, including the proposal for a declaration of a formal end to the years 1950-1953. Korean War.

Sung Kim, Special Representative for North Korea, also reiterated Washington’s willingness to help address the North’s humanitarian concerns for its people in need, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing to reporters right after a meeting here with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu -duk.

He also called on Pyongyang to stop “provocations” and other destabilizing activities, and resume dialogue.

Their talks in Seoul came after tensions resurfaced over the recent North test firing of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). They met in Washington last week, a sign of enhanced diplomacy to resume dialogue with the North.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Special Representative Noh to explore different ideas and initiatives, including the ROK’s end-of-war proposal as we pursue our common goals on the peninsula,” Kim said. ROK stands for the official name of South Korea, Republic of Korea.

Calling the latest SLBM test “worrying and counterproductive”, he highlighted Washington’s “strong commitment” to the defense of the South and exploring “sustained and substantial” diplomacy with the North.

Kim described the latest launch as a violation of several UN Security Council resolutions, but underscored the Joe Biden administration’s desire to re-engage with the North.

“We remain ready to meet the DPRK without preconditions, and we have made it clear that the United States has no hostile intentions towards the DPRK,” he said, referring to the official name of the North, People’s Republic. Democratic Republic of Korea.

“We hope that the DPRK will respond positively to our awareness raising action,” he added.

During Kim’s trip here, special attention was drawn to whether he would further inform the US position on President Moon Jae-in’s recent proposal for the declaration of end of war, but he did not. gave more details.

Kim called the North’s latest SLBM test a “provocation” as Pyongyang demanded that Seoul and Washington drop what he calls “double standards” in reference to allies calling the northern missile launches provocative while justifying them. theirs as “deterrents”.

Noh said the latest security situation on the Korean Peninsula underscores the urgent need to resume talks with North Korea, and that Seoul and Washington are ready to discuss any issues at the negotiating table if the North accepts their offer to talks.

“We have reaffirmed the previous position that (Seoul and Washington) can discuss any issue if it comes back to the negotiating table,” Noh said. “As the US government at different levels has continuously expressed its willingness to talk, I hope the North Korean side will quickly accept the offer.”

North Korea remains insensitive to American overtures. He has also stayed away from talks with the United States since the 2019 Hanoi summit between the United States and North Korea ended without a deal.

The Seoul official said he and Kim had discussed various ways to resume the peace process, including declaring an end to the war and humanitarian aid.

“Kim and I have had serious and in-depth consultations on the end-of-war proposal as part of extended talks in Washington,” Noh said. “We have agreed to continue pushing for various ways to engage with North Korea, including cooperation in humanitarian cooperation and meaningful confidence-building measures,” he added.

Noh said the two sides will have further consultations at an early date on North Korea.

The US envoy is due to leave Seoul later today for Jakarta, where he is also ambassador.

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