DPRK says hope alive for peace, summit with ROK

This March 2, 2019 file photo shows Kim Yo-jong, sister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s leader Kim Jong-un, attending a wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. (JORGE SILVA / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

SEOUL – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is willing to consider another inter-Korean summit if mutual respect between the rivals can be assured, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday, citing a senior DPRK official.

The comment comes just a day after the DPRK urged the United States and the Republic of Korea to abandon what it called their hostile policy and double standards towards it before formal talks can be held on ending the 1950-53 Korean War.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice not a peace treaty, leaving US-led UN forces technically still at war with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice not a peace treaty, leaving US-led UN forces technically still at war with the DPRK.

"I think that only when impartiality and the attitude of respecting each other are maintained, can there be smooth understanding between the north and the south," said Kim Yo-jong, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

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Constructive discussions offer the a chance for meaningful and successful solutions to issues including "the re-establishment of the north-south joint liaison office and the north-south summit, to say nothing of the timely declaration of the significant termination of the war", Kim said.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, ROK President Moon Jae-in repeated a call for a formal end to the war but later said time is running out to achieve such progress before his term ends in May.

Kim said she noted with interest the intense discussion in the ROK over the renewed prospect of a formal declaration of the end of the Korean War.

"I felt that the atmosphere of the South Korean public desiring to recover the inter-Korean relations from a deadlock and achieve peaceful stability as soon as possible is irresistibly strong," she said. "We, too, have the same desire."

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The ROK is also referred to as South Korea. 

Expectations were raised that a declaration on ending the war, even if not an actual treaty, would be made during a historic summit between then US president Donald Trump and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in 2018.

But that possibility, and the momentum that the two leaders generated over three meetings came to nothing. Talks have been stalled since 2019.

US President Joe Biden said in his own UN address that he wanted "sustained diplomacy" to resolve the crisis surrounding the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.

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