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End-of-war declaration invites nuclear-free Korea: Moon adviser

Moon Chung-in, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special security adviser, delivers a keynote speech at a forum in Seoul, Oct. 27, 2020. (Yonhap)
Moon Chung-in, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special security adviser, delivers a keynote speech at a forum in Seoul, Oct. 27, 2020. (Yonhap)
Signing a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War is the first step toward denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, Moon Chung-in, President Moon Jae-in’s special security adviser, said Tuesday.

“With the end-of-war declaration as a steppingstone for denuclearization, we must play our part to bring about a peace regime here,” security adviser Moon told a forum hosted by the National Unification Advisory Council, a state body offering counsel to the president on inter-Korean affairs.

A peace regime refers to ushering in permanent peace by officially ending the 1950-53 conflict that leaves the two Koreas still technically at war, without a peace treaty, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Moon’s remarks highlighted a growing rift between South Korea and the US on the matter, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a week earlier that North Korean denuclearization would lead to the end-of-war declaration.

There has been no change in the way the US thinks about that, Pompeo said.

But, Moon agreed with Pompeo in that North Korea should engage in the stalled nuclear talks, saying that nuclear weapons guarantee neither its survival nor prosperity. And the two Koreas should try dialogue as the next US president readies his new administration after the November presidential election.

Washington and Pyongyang have been unable to see eye to eye on what steps to take first between denuclearization and sanctions relief since their last working-level negotiations fell through in October 2019.

Moon also voiced concerns about the escalating US-China rivalry and prospects for a new Cold War.

China is a repressive country, Moon said, but he questioned whether democracies in the free world should team up to counter its influence, saying, “I don’t know if China poses a clear and present danger to us either.”

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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