The differences in stances over the declaration of a formal end to the Korean War and eased tensions against North Korea have become pronounced among South Korea, North Korea, the United States and China.
Attention is being drawn to whether the upcoming multilateral forum in Singapore will provide an opportunity to find middle ground among concerned parties.
Lee Bong-seok has more.
The talks between the U.S. and North Korea, which will be held as follow-up meetings of the June 12 summit, have hit a snag as they remain divided over the declaration of an end to the Korean War.
The North demanded the declaration of the end of the Korean War as soon as possible, while the U.S. calls for the North to take tangible actions toward denuclearization first.
The South Korean government is playing a mediator role to announce the end of the Korean War by this year.
<Moon Jae-in / South Korean President> “We hope that the trilateral meeting with the North and the U.S. serves as an opportunity to bring an end to the Korean War based on the success of the U.S.-North Korea talks.
But things have become more complicated for the South Korean government as China stepped in on the issue.
China, which stayed back so far, has moved forward, making the declaration of an end to the Korean War the issue of four parties instead of three parties.
Adding to the complexity is differences in stances over whether to ease sanctions against the North, urging South Korea to become more active in its mediator role.
The North, which has drawn support from China, is intensifying its demand for the resumption of the Mount Kumgang tour programs, asking the South not to consider the U.S. and its stance on the sanctions.
The South Korean government appears to expect the U.S. to accept the calls to loosen parts of sanctions against North Korea, while the U.S. is against the reopening of the joint-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying sanctions would remain in place.
Eyes are on if the upcoming ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which will be the highest-profile diplomatic event involving the two Koreas, the U.S. and China, will serve as a chance to reach an agreement over the issues.
Lee Bong-seok reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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