Roundup: RoK says DPRK, US in process of narrowing differences in denuke, war-ending declaration

Tuesday, 2018-07-10 07:37:28
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The DPRK leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with the US President Trump after taking part in a signing ceremony at the end of their summit in Singapore on June 12. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s officials on July 9 acknowledged the differences between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States over issues such as the denuclearized Korean Peninsula and the war-ending declaration, but they expected the differences to be narrowed and negotiable.

Kim Eui-keum, spokesman for RoK’s President Moon Jae-in, told the routine press briefing that Pyongyang and Washington showed differences in the issues.

The spokesman, however, noted that the two sides were seen as being in the process of agreeing to the issues, including the war-ending declaration.

The comments came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang over the weekend.

Shortly after Pompeo left Pyongyang, the DPRK's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that while the DPRK asked for simultaneous moves on formally declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War and the denuclearization, the US side only insisted that the DPRK take steps for the comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID).

Calling the US demand "unilateral" and "gangster-like”, the DPRK foreign ministry said the US side never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

After the historic summit in Singapore on June 12, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump agreed to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in return for security guarantees for the DPRK.

Pyongyang regards the signing of a formal agreement with Washington to end the Korean War, which ended with armistice, as a key measure to remove the danger of war on the peninsula and normalize the DPRK-US relations. The peninsula remains technically at war with the armistice agreement.

The Blue House spokesman noted that the first step cannot solve everything as the DPRK and the United States held the first working-level dialogue following the Singapore summit.

The spokesman said President Moon would make efforts to facilitate DPRK-US talks, adding that RoK was communicating with Pyongyang and Washington through various channels.

Other RoK’s officials expected Pyongyang and Washington to eventually narrow differences to denuclearize and build peace on the peninsula.

Moon Chung-in, professor emeritus of Yonsei University in Seoul who serves as a special advisor to President Moon for security and foreign affairs, said in a local radio program that Pyongyang and Washington would overcome difference in a gradual manner though it would take time.

RoK’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a forum in Seoul that the process of ironing out difference between Pyongyang and Washington will be necessary in the initial phase of negotiations for the denuclearization.

He said the leaders of the DPRK and the United States were moving in the same direction and showing a clear will toward the denuclearization.

Cho said RoK will closely communicate and cooperate with the DPRK, the United States, all relevant parties and the international community to create a virtuous cycle of the improved relations between Seoul and Pyongyang and between Pyongyang and Washington advancing the denuclearization and peace settlement.