Kim Jong-un’s sister says North Korea is willing to resume talks with South

Kim Jong-un’s sister says North Korea is willing to resume talks with South
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North Korea is “willing” to engage with the “admirable idea” of declaring an end to the Korean War, provided South Korea ceases to be hostile, said Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong.

Ms Kim was responding to South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s proposal to declare a formal end to the Korean War. She, however, stressed for the “right conditions” to be created first, before a formal end-of-war declaration is adopted.

The 1950-53 Korean War had not ended with a peace treaty, but an armistice. This meant that technically, US-led forces are still at war with North Korea.

Ri Thae-song, North Korea’s foreign minister, had on Friday also rejected Mr Moon’s proposal to declare a formal end of the war and called it “something premature,” The Korea Times newspaper reported.

He also said the end-of-war declaration has “no legal binding force” and would “become a mere scrap of paper in a moment upon changes in situations.”

“The declaration of the termination of the war is an interesting and an admirable idea. But it is necessary to look into whether it is the right time now and whether there are conditions ripe for discussing this issue,” Ms Kim said in a statement carried by state-controlled news agency KCNA.

She said that “double-dealing standards, prejudice and hostile policies” towards North Korea persist. “Under such situation, it does not make any sense to declare the end of the war with all the things, which may become a seed of a war between parties that had been at odds for more than half a century, left intact,” she added.

She added that North Korea was willing to keep “close contact” with South Korea and engage in a “constructive discussion” about the relationship between the two countries if Seoul was not “hostile towards us.”

Earlier in the week, in a speech at the UN General Assembly, Mr Moon declared that a formal end to the war between the two Korean countries would lead to a “new order of reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.”

Mr Ri, however, said the declaration would lead to “disastrous consequences” that could upset the strategic balance in the region and push the two Koreas into an unending arms race.

Earlier this year, Ms Kim issued a stern warning to the US and advised it against “causing a stink at its first step” in the region, if it wished to “sleep well for the next four years.”

The comments had come in the wake of US secretary of state Anthony Blinken’s and defence secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to Tokyo and Seoul in March.

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