South Korea urges formal end to Korea War

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in speaks at the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Pool

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called for the formal end to the Korean War in a speech at the U.N. on Tuesday, urging US and China’s support.

“Today, I once again urge the international community to mobilize its strengths for the end-of-war declaration on the Korean Peninsula and propose that three parties of the two Koreas and the U.S., or four parties of the two Koreas, the U.S. and China, come together and declare that the war on the Korean Peninsula is over,” Moon said in his address to the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

“When the parties involved in the Korean War stand together and proclaim an end to the war, I believe we can make irreversible progress in denuclearization and usher in an era of complete peace,” he added.

The two Koreas technically remain in a state of war, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

Moon has pushed for a formal declaration to end the Korean War throughout his presidency, including in his speech at the U.N. last year. Tuesday’s speech marked Moon’s last to the U.N. as president, with his term set to end early next year.

U.S. President Joe Biden also touched on “the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” in an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. He stressed “concrete progress toward an available plan with tangible commitments” that would “increase stability on the peninsula and in the region, as well as improve the lives of the people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.

Noting that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the two Koreas joining the U.N., Moon told the General Assembly that the joint accession and acknowledgment of two separate nations was “never meant to perpetuate the division.”

He added that a path to reconciliation and unification can be reached through inter-Korean and international cooperation.

“I expect that the international community, together with Korea, remains always ready and willing to reach out to North Korea in a cooperative spirit,” Moon said.

Moon also called once again for the reunion of families separated by the Korean War, stressing that these separated families are “already advanced in age”. Pyongyang has been unresponsive to Seoul’s repeated efforts to organize family reunions, including by videoconference, since the last such meeting in Aug. 2018.

Moon’s speech in support of a peace process comes amid increased inter-Korean tensions following the North and South’s respective missile tests last week, which highlighted the continuing arms race on the Korean Peninsula.

While North Korea has given a cold shoulder to international outreach to engagement since the failed Hanoi summit between then-U.S. President Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, Seoul and Washington have continued to seek to resume denuclearization dialogue with Pyongyang, while also offering to provide humanitarian assistance.

Source: NK News

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