April 21 (UPI) — South Korea’s top diplomat said the United States is conducting a “serious review” of President Moon Jae-in’s proposal of an end-of-war declaration with North Korea that could replace the 1953 Armistice with a peace treaty.
Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said Wednesday at a forum hosted by the Kwanhun Club at the Korea Press Center in Seoul that the Biden administration is seriously considering a declaration of peace with North Korea, Newsis reported.
Chung, who played a key role in coordinating the first U.S.-North Korea summit in 2018, said the South Korean proposal is under consideration. Washington could be seeking progress on North Korea denuclearization before declaring peace, however, Chung said.
The South Korean diplomat is addressing North Korea as Washington and Seoul prepare for a summit between President Joe Biden and Moon in May.
In an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday, Moon said he hoped that Biden will “go down as a historic president that has achieved substantive and irreversible progress for the complete denuclearization and peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula.”
Moon also criticized former President Donald Trump, whom he once said made a “huge contribution” to inter-Korean relations.
The South Korean leader told the Times that Trump “beat around the bush and failed to pull it through.”
Trump said in speeches after meeting with Kim Jong Un that the North Korean dictator was a “great leader” and “friend,” while demanding the South pay for a five-fold increase in keeping U.S. troops on the peninsula.
Moon said in the interview Trump requested an “excessive amount,” and that the request “lacked reasonable and rational calculation.”
On Wednesday, Chung said Seoul is not yet “pursuing a fourth inter-Korea summit” between Moon and Kim, but that the government supports the resumption of dialogue.
Diplomacy is necessary for the South Korean national interest, Chung said.
“I hope summits become a regular routine,” he said.
Kim and Moon last met in June 2019 at the truce village of Panmunjom.