North Korea’s official news agency today issued a statement reiterating the nation’s willingness to suspend all nuclear testing in return for a peace treaty to end the Korean War, and the cessation of US military exercises aimed at them.
Tensions have been rising since North Korea tested another atomic weapon earlier this month, the fourth such test the nation has performed. They claimed it was a hydrogen bomb, though experts agree it was almost certainly not.
The State Department immediately spurned the latest proposal, saying the military exercises would continue because the US has “commitments” to South Korea to keep having them. The annual military exercises have fueled annual tensions with North Korea, tending to end in mid-Spring.
The Korean War began in 1950, and while there is a truce in place that’s held for over 60 years, the US has repeatedly rejected North Korean offers to formally end the war. In 2010 the Obama Administration suggested such a peace was impossible unless North Korea abandoned the nuclear testing, now even with that on the table there seems to be no US interest in following through.