Seoul – North Korea could declare a formal end to the Korean War as suggested by South Korea and even discuss holding an inter-Korean summit if Seoul treats Pyongyang with “impartiality” and mutual respect, said Kim Yo-jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong-un.
Kim Yo-jong made the remark in a statement on Saturday carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, urging the South to drop its double-standard attitude, such as denouncing the North’s “self-defence” weapons tests as “provocations” while beautifying its own arms build-up.
The statement came a day after she said South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War is an “admirable idea” and the North is willing to discuss improving inter-Korean relations if Seoul ceases to be hostile toward it, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“I felt the atmosphere of the South Korean public desiring to recover inter-Korean relations from a deadlock and achieve peaceful stability as soon as possible is irresistibly strong,” Kim Yo-jong was quoted as saying in her statement on Saturday.
“We, too, have the same desire.”
Kim Yo-jong said it is only when “impartiality and the attitude of respecting each other are maintained” that there can be “smooth understanding between the North and the South”.
Under such circumstances “can several issues for improving relations, 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, see meaningful and successful solutions one by one at an early date through constructive discussions”, she added.
Kim Yo-jong, however, noted all she said is merely her “personal view”, suggesting the statement was issued without a direct order from her brother.
On September 15, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, raising concerns the latest launch could ratchet up tensions on the peninsula.
Hours later on the same day, South Korea announced it successfully tested a homegrown submarine-launched ballistic missile and President Moon said the weapon could be a deterrent to North Korean provocation.
Inter-Korean relations have significantly chilled since North Korea blew up the liaison office and cut off all cross-border communication lines in June last year.
The communication lines were back online briefly in late July, but Pyongyang did not respond to Seoul’s regular calls again in protest of summertime joint military drills by South Korea and the US, which the North usually denounces as a rehearsal for invasion.
The two Koreas are still technically at war, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.