US looks forward to cooperation on N. Korea including end-of-war declaration, special envoy says

한겨레 입력 2021. 10. 25. 16:56
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Noh said that he and Kim had "held serious, in-depth discussions of the end-of-war declaration proposal as a continuation of our discussions in Washington [on October 18 and 19]."

He also said they had "reaffirmed our shared position that when dialogue is resumed with North Korea, all issues will be up for discussion, including matters of interest to the North."

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Sung Kim reiterated that the US holds no hostile intent towards North Korea, and called for the North to stop "provocations" and return to the dialogue table
Noh Kyu-duk, special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, and Sung Kim, US special representative for North Korea, hold a press conference following a morning meeting at a hotel in central Seoul on Sunday. (pool photo)

Sung Kim, the US special representative for North Korea, said Sunday that he looked forward to working to “explore different ideas and initiatives” with South Korea, including its proposal for a declaration officially ending the Korean War.

His remarks came during a press conference following a closed-door breakfast meeting with South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk at a hotel in Seoul’s Jung District that morning.

“We remain ready to meet with the DPRK without preconditions, and we have made clear that the United States harbors no hostile intent towards the DPRK,” Kim said.

“We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach,” he added.

He also stressed Washington’s commitment to humanitarian cooperation with North Korea, saying the US would “also prepare to work cooperatively with the DPRK to address areas of humanitarian concern to help the most vulnerable North Koreans.”

Kim’s remarks Sunday about an end-of-war declaration marked a step forward from his previous ones after a bilateral meeting with Noh in Washington on Oct. 18, where he said the two of them had “discussed” the proposal.

In his latest remarks, Kim said he “look[s] forward” to cooperation, as opposed to having simply “discussed” it. At the same time, they also did not explicitly share the US government’s position on the idea of an end-of-war declaration.

Kim was also critical of North Korea’s recent test launches of submarine-launch ballistic missiles and other forms of missiles, describing them as “concerning and counterproductive to making progress toward a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.”

The missile launches are in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and a threat to North Korea’s neighbors and the international community, he said, calling on North Korea to halt its “provocations” and destabilizing activities and take part in dialogue.

Noh said that he and Kim had “held serious, in-depth discussions of the end-of-war declaration proposal as a continuation of our discussions in Washington [on October 18 and 19].”

“South Korea and the US plan to continue pursuing various efforts for engagement with North Korea on that basis, including humanitarian cooperation and meaningful trust-building measures,” he added.

He also said they had “reaffirmed our shared position that when dialogue is resumed with North Korea, all issues will be up for discussion, including matters of interest to the North.”

“The US government has also continued expressing its commitment to dialogue at various levels, and we look forward to North Korea responding favorably in the near future,” he said.

By Lee Je-hun, senior staff writer

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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