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U.S. avoids direct comments on S. Korea's remarks about end-of-war declaration draft
Updated: 2021-12-31 08:13:33 KST
The U.S. State Department has declined to comment on whether a de facto end-of-war declaration draft has been agreed between Seoul and Washington.
In a written response to Yonhap News, a State Department spokesperson offered no direct response but only reiterated the U.S.' earlier stance on North Korea.
The official commented that the U.S. remains committed to "achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy" with the North, adding the U.S. seeks a calibrated and practical approach for "tangible progress."

This follows South Korean foreign minister Chung Eui-yong's remarks on Wednesday that South Korea and the U.S. have effectively reached an agreement on the draft for formally announcing an end to the Korean War.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry added on Thursday that there needs to be more consultations.

"South Korea and the U.S. have already reached a de facto agreement on the end-of-war declaration draft under consensus of its importance. However, we are still in negotiations over detailed measures."

While Seoul has been pushing for the declaration as a way to resume talks with Pyeongyang, Washington has shown a more careful tone.
Experts say South Korea and the U.S. have different approaches in terms of which comes first: the 'end-of-war declaration' or 'denuclearization'.

"In case of South Korea, as we well know, first priority is peace, then followed by denuclearization whereas for the United States, denuclearization precedes any type of negotiation over the permanent stability in the Korean peninsula."

Though the end-of-war declaration is only a symbolic political statement, there also reportedly seems to be more consideration of other factors for the U.S., such as a potential change in the status of U.S. forces in South Korea or joint military exercises.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
Reporter : yoonjm@arirang.com