South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday (Sept 21) addressed the UN General Assembly and repeated a call for a declaration to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War.
“I once more urge the community of countries to mobilize its strengths for the end-of-war declaration on the Korean peninsula,” Moon said during a speech to the annual gathering of the globe body.
“I propose that three parties of the 2 Koreas and therefore the US, or four parties of the 2 Koreas, the US and China come together and declare that the War on the Korean peninsula is over,” he said.
North Korea had long sought a formal end to the Korean War to replace the armistice that stopped the fighting but left it and therefore the US-led UN Command was still technically at war.
Moon, who has been active in trying to interact with North Korea throughout his presidency, has argued that such a declaration would encourage North Korea to denuclearise.
Washington has said Pyongyang must give up its nuclear weapons first.
Earlier on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden addressed the UN assembly and said the US sought “serious and sustained diplomacy to pursue the entire denuclearisation of Korea .”
“We seek concrete progress towards an available plan with tangible commitments that might increase stability on the Peninsula and within the region, also as improve the lives of the people within the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” he said, using North Korea’s official name.
North Korea has brushed off US calls for a return to dialogue and therefore the head of the UN atomic watchdog said in the week that Pyongyang’s nuclear program goes “full steam ahead.”
The International atomic energy Agency reported last month that North Korea appears to possess restarted the operation of its main reactor wont to produce weapons fuels, as North Korea openly threatens to enlarge its nuclear arsenal amid dormant nuclear diplomacy with the united states.
When asked about North Korea’s nuclear program, which goes “full steam ahead” according to U.N. atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi, Moon said while North Korea has been “intensifying tension, launching missiles and conducting other activities, it’s of great relief that it’s kept good on its moratorium on nuclear tests and ICBM launches.”
Moon was also asked about North Korea’s criticism of the United States’ decision to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. North Korean state media quoted an unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry official who called the arrangement, made between the U.S., Britain and Australia, an “extremely” dangerous move, one that would set off a nuclear arms race.
Moon conceded it’s a “great pity that Korea still lives within the era of the cold war,” adding that while “remarkable changes” have taken place during his time in office, they need “yet to consolidate peace on Korea .”
Moon said he believes there’s a “possibility of resuming talks” and thus finding “a way, a pathway to the solution.”
Tensions are high between North and South Korea. Both countries have recently tested ballistic missiles. This came as a stark contrast to their 2018 agreement when the two rival nations vowed to denuclearize the peninsula and end the long war between them.