North Korea on Monday demanded South Korea to actively implement the agreement reached during the inter-Korean summit in April, in order to formally end the 65-year-old Korean War. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged to end the 1950-53 Korean War during their meeting on April 27, with a permanent peace treaty replacing the armistice agreement that ceased all hostilities on the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap News Agency reported. It should be noted that the two Koreas are technically still at war. Uriminzokkiri, North Korea’s external propaganda website said, “Given that the South Korean government also has an obligation to carry out what was agreed upon in the Panmunjom Declaration, it should not sit idle on the issue of declaring an end to the war.”
“It is a historic task that cannot be delayed anymore to build solid peace regime by ending the current abnormal state of an armistice on the Korean Peninsula,” it added. Another North Korean propaganda website called Meari urged South Korea to “do its part” in implementing the inter-Korean summit agreement to formally end the Korean War, adding that the accord would lose its meaning if Seoul did not act on time. According to observers, these reports from the North Korean media are a sign of Pyongyang’s displeasure at Seoul’s slow pace on working an agreement to conclude the over six decades old Korean War, as per the report.
On a related note, United States President Donald Trump is reportedly fuming over the slow pace of talks on North Korea’s denuclearisation. According to the Washington Post, Trump has been demanding updates on the status of negotiations, although the US President takes to social media to publicly announce the negotiations going on between Washington D.C. and Pyongyang. Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea and held discussions on North Korea’s denuclearisation.
However, in a statement by an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman, carried by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang criticised Washington D.C. for “seeking unilateral and forced and “gangster-like demand for denuclearisation”, Yonhap News Agency reported. “The US just came out with such unilateral, robber-like denuclearisation demands as CVID (complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement), declaration and verification that go against the spirit of the North Korean-US summit meeting,” the spokesperson said. North Korea’s statement was apparently not in sync with the US, even as Pompeo said that there was progress being made on North Korea’s denuclearisation exercise.
He acknowledged that “there’s still more work to be done” to achieve the process dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missiles programme. Calling the talks “very productive”, Pompeo told media that he “spent a good time” talking about denuclearisation. Trump and Kim had met in Singapore on June 12 and signed a joint agreement, wherein the latter agreed to work for a “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula” in exchange for security guarantees by the US.