President Moon Jae-in has expressed hope that South Korea and the U.S. can work together toward a declaration formally ending the 1950-to-1953 Korean War saying this would pave the way for peace and make their alliance even greater.
He made the remarks Wednesday during a virtual keynote speech for the Annual Gala of the Korea Society a non-profit organization based in New York that works to enhance ties between Seoul and Washington.
I hope our two countries can work toward the end-of-war declaration and draw active participation from the international community. Our alliance will become even greater when we deter war, while actively creating and institutionalizing peace.
Noting the stalled peace drive on the Peninsula, President Moon said the allies cannot backtrack on their hard earned progress.
The President added that South Korea will continue its efforts to build trust with North Korea with an open mind and heart.
The call for an end-of-war declaration comes amid a controversy over the recent fatal shooting of a South Korean government worker by the North's troops.
While North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered a rare apology, the regime has yet to respond to Seoul's call for a joint investigation.
South Korea's unification ministry on Thursday said it appears that Pyeongyang doesn't want inter-Korean ties to deteriorate given the swift apology and recent exchange of letters between Moon and Kim.
In a report to parliament, the ministry added that the North could opt for a show of force in a military parade widely expected this week to mark the anniversary of the regime's ruling party, especially with the U.S. presidential election coming up in less than a month.
Definitely North Korea is going to take advantage of this occasion to showcase their latest weapon system. // North Korea is going to take advantage of this opportunity to send a reminder to the United States that no matter who is going to be the next U.S. president, will have to place North Korea on top of the U.S. foreign policy priorities.
Seoul's unification ministry, meanwhile, vowed to take a cautious approach, for its part, in view of the current situation and especially when it comes to issues of inter-Korean cooperation.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.