South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young on Friday pitched the proposed declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War as a “good starting point” in the search for a “meaningful” solution to address Pyongyang’s security concerns.
Lee made the remarks as Seoul is pushing for the political declaration in a bid to create fresh momentum to re-engage with Pyongyang and resume its stalled initiative for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“From the standpoint of North Korea, which has called for the withdrawal of hostile policy, I think the end-of-war declaration would be a good starting point toward a meaningful solution,” Lee said at a peace forum in Goseong on the east coast.
“(We) will build trust through the declaration, and based on that trust, we could move to a process under which we can have substantive discussions on mutual interests,” he said.
The North has repeatedly called for the US to drop what it terms hostile policy toward the North, while Washington has said it harbours no hostile intent and called for Pyongyang’s return to dialogue.
Seoul and Washington are in final-stage consultations over the declaration, Seoul officials have said, though uncertainties remain over whether Pyongyang would accede.
In September, Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, called the declaration an “interesting” and “admirable” idea but urged Seoul to abandon its hostile policy toward Pyongyang in order to start relevant discussions.