A peace treaty to formally end the Korean War “must be pursued”, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday, ahead of a summit with Kim Jong Un, leader of the North.
The 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war, and the Demilitarized Zone between them — where Moon and Kim will meet next Friday — bristles with minefields and fortifications.
“The armistice that has dragged on for 65 years must come to an end,” Moon told media executives at the presidential Blue House, adding: “The signing of a peace treaty must be pursued after an end to the war is declared.”
But Moon signaled that a treaty would depend on the North giving up its nuclear weapons.
“If the inter-Korean summit or North Korea-US summit lead to denuclearization,” he said, “I think that it won’t be too difficult to reach practical agreements in the big picture on creating a peace regime, normalizing North Korea-US ties, or providing international aid for the improvement of the North Korean economy.”
The summit between Moon and Kim will be the biggest highlight of a whirlwind of diplomacy on and around the peninsula triggered by the Winter Olympics, and a precursor to a much-anticipated meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
North Korea’s state media on Thursday announced it will convene a full meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea central committee to make key policy decisions.
The official KCNA news agency gave no indications what they might be about, saying only that Friday’s gathering will address issues of a “new stage” in what it called “the important historic period of the developing Korean revolution”.