S.Korea aims to make war-ending declaration in 2018, to closely cooperate with China: FM

SEOUL, June 18 : (Xinhua) — South Korea aimed to make a war-ending declaration by the end of this year although the exact schedule and format can be dealt with flexibly, the South Korean foreign minister said Monday.

Kang Kyung-wha told a press briefing that though the schedule and format can be addressed flexibly, the government aimed to push for the declaration of an end to the 1950-53 Korean War by the end of this year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un agreed to turn the current armistice agreement into a peace treaty by the end of 2018 after holding the third inter-Korean summit on April 27.

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to build a lasting peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and establish new bilateral relations at their first summit in Singapore on June 12.

The peninsula remains technically at war as the Korean War ended with armistice, not a peace treaty.

Kang said South Korea has been closely cooperating with the U.S. side for the war-ending declaration, noting that China can play a “very significant role” in building a peace regime on the peninsula.

She said South Korea will closely cooperate with China on the issue.

The South Korean diplomat had a phone conversation earlier in the day with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

During the phone talks, Pompeo told Kang that he would sit down face-to-face with his DPRK counterpart as early as possible. It indicated Pompeo’s willingness to push for dialogue with the DPRK rapidly, Kang said.

Kang said the DPRK-U.S. talks would continue as the two sides held a summit to talk frankly and build trust, noting that it created a virtuous cycle of improved inter-Korean relations which will help enhance DPRK-U.S. relations.

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