On Wednesday, South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said Seoul and Washington have “effectively” agreed on a draft declaration that would finally put an official end to the Korean War.
Chung said the US and South Korea have discussed “the importance of the declaration” and are now considering ways to start negotiations with North Korea on the matter. South Korean President Moon Jae-in ultimately favors reunification with the North and sees the end of war declaration as a vital first step.
“Our government views that an end-of-war declaration is a crucial step that we must go through in the process of achieving complete denuclearization and a lasting peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula,” Chung said.
While the fighting ended in 1953, a peace treaty was never signed to formally end the war. The US has been standing in the way of the declaration, as many hawks in Washington view the move as a “reward” for Pyongyang.
Since President Biden took office, peace talks between Pyongyang and Seoul have been stalled. “Our government views that an end-of-war declaration provides a very useful opportunity to resume dialogue in a current deadlock in talks with North Korea,” Chung said.
In September, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kin Jong-un, released a statement speaking favorably of the idea of declaring an end to the war. “We have discussed the end of war declaration at several opportunities in the past since we have appreciated of the necessity and meaning of the [declaration], which can be the beginning of the establishment of a system to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula,” she said.