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Unification minister says end-of-war declaration is still possible this year

All Headlines 11:30 October 29, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Monday that the declaration of a formal end to the Korean War can take place this year despite little progress in denuclearization talks.

"We are working on realizing (the end-of-war declaration) within this year," Cho told lawmakers during a parliamentary audit. "I think it is possible at this moment."

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed during their first-ever April summit to seek an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War and work toward replacing the Armistice Agreement that ended the hostility with a peace treaty.

The U.S. has been reluctant to rush for the end-of-war declaration as Washington apparently sees it as a major concession for North Korea, along with sanctions relief, at a time when the North has not made corresponding efforts to denuclearize its nuclear and missile programs.

Moon and Kim held their third summit in Pyongyang last month following one in April and another in May. Kim agreed to visit Seoul at an early date and possibly within this year.

As progress in denuclearization talks between the North and the U.S. has been slower than expected, however, it remains unclear whether the North Korean leader could come to Seoul this year.

In response to a question as to whether Kim could come to Seoul before the end of this year despite little progress in denuclearization talks, the unification minister said, "Yes."

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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