N. Korea Reiterates Calls for Formally Ending Korean War

N. Korea Reiterates Calls for Formally Ending Korean War

A special envoy appointed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in travelled to North Korea by plane Wednesday morning for a one-day visit aimed at booking a third inter-Korean summit of 2018 and smoothing the way for denuclearization progress.

The American stance could cause a split with Moon's government, which also wants a quick end-of-war declaration, possibly at the U.N. General Assembly in September. President Moon named a five-member delegation to North Korea on Sunday, led by National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong, Yonhap News Agency reported.

China could be keen to demonstrate the strong ties it has with Pyongyang to ensure it remains a key player in efforts to dismantle the North's nuclear program.

The visit by the South Korean officials also comes amid an apparent impasse in the denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea.

The planned inter-Korean summit follows Trump's cancellation of a visit to Pyongyang by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month after Pompeo received a belligerent letter from a senior North Korean official.

The two past inter-Korean summits in April and May removed war fears and initiated a global diplomatic push that culminated with the meeting between Kim and Trump in June.

North Korea is said to have demanded a timely quid pro quo for its denuclearization efforts while the USA has repeatedly vowed to maintain maximum sanctions on the impoverished North until it completely denuclearizes.

The Koreas have staged emotional reunions between aging relatives separated by the war, fielded combined teams in sports competitions and held military talks to ease border tensions.

Moon's nightmare may be a return to 2017, when animosity created by the North's barrage of nuclear and missile tests and Trump's responding belligerent tweets raised war fears among South Koreans.

"Now is a very important period in settling peace on the Korean Peninsula". "When inter-Korean relations were good in the past, North Korea's nuclear threat eased".

Impoverished and isolated North Korea has prioritised its nuclear weapons, achieving remarkable success in recent years.

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