South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha on Monday said Seoul was aiming to end the six-decade Korean war within this year, but needed to be “flexible” on the format and specific timing of the same.
Briefing media after having a telephonic conversation with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Kang stressed that to broker a peace treaty, the process needed consultations with North Korea and the US, as per Yonhap News Agency.
Kang added that the United States President Donald Trump administration was committed to the formal end of the 1950-53 Korean War, as agreed by South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the inter-Korean summit at Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in April 27.
“I think (we) need to produce a result through consultations with the U.S., and North Korea. But (South Korea) plans to handle the issue of timing and format with flexibility,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Kang as saying.
It is to be noted that the Korean war ended in an armistice agreement and not in a peace treaty. The two Korean countries are still technically at war.
The South Korean foreign minister further said that she hoped to hold talks with her North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum, which is slated to take place in Singapore in early August.
Kang also clarified that no concrete action has been taken so far on the establishment of a hotline between Trump and Kim.
Last week, Trump said that he gave his “direct number” to the North Korean leader, adding he no longer considered Pyongyang as a “nuclear threat”.
“I can now call him. I gave him a very direct number. He can now call me if he has any difficulty. We have communication,” the US President said.
On June 12, Trump and Kim met for the first time at Singapore’s Capella Hotel, where they signed a post-summit joint declaration, according to which the latter committed to “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, while Trump pledged “security guarantees” to Pyongyang.