DPRK says call to declare end of Korean War is 'premature'

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday rejected President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in's proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 war as "something premature," arguing that such a declaration would be meaningless as long as the "hostile policy" of the U.S. remains unchanged. 

An end-of-war declaration has "no legal binding force" and will "become a mere scrap of paper in a moment upon changes in situations", reported the Korean Central News Agency citing Ri Thae Song, DPRK's vice foreign minister in charge of U.S. affairs. 

"There is no vouch that the mere declaration of the termination of the war would lead to the withdrawal of the hostile policy toward the DPRK, under the present situation on the peninsula inching close to a touch-and-go situation," he said. 

Moon on Tuesday repeated a call for a formal end to the Korean War in an address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. 

Ri stressed that the declaration of the termination of the war is of no help but would be "a smokescreen covering up the U.S.' hostile policy." 

He also mentioned Washington's recent decision to help build nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. KCNA quoted a foreign ministry official on Monday as saying the action is an "extremely undesirable and dangerous" move that could trigger off a nuclear arms race. 

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden addressed the UN assembly and said the United States wants "sustained diplomacy" to resolve the crisis surrounding DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 

The DPRK recently fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea following a long-range cruise missile test, raising concerns the latest launch could ratchet up tensions on the peninsula. 

The head of the UN atomic watchdog said this week that Pyongyang's nuclear program is going "full steam ahead." 

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