President Moon Jae-in says declaring a formal end to the Korean War is a desirable step to end hostile relations between the United States and North Korea.
In an interview with BBC at the presidential office in Seoul on Friday, Moon said, "If North Korea takes certain measures the end of war declaration will be a political statement that would announce the longstanding hostilities between Pyongyang and Washington had ended.”
Stressing that he wants to see the declaration made at the “earliest possible date,” the president said he is optimistic it will happen and that it is only a matter of time.
Moon also said he believed Seoul and Washington had a shared understanding regarding this view.
Regarding the second North Korea-U.S. summit to be held in the near future, Moon said he expects U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to reach a breakthrough agreement on the timetable of the North’s denuclearization.
He said it will help accelerate Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament measures in step with the U.S.' corresponding measures, adding he is strongly optimistic about the progress of this process.
Moon also touched on Trump’s recent remarks that Seoul will not lift its unilateral sanctions on the North without Washington’s approval, made after Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Seoul was mulling moves in that direction.
Moon said he thinks Trump was just stressing the principle of close cooperation between South Korea and the U.S.
He assured that efforts to improve inter-Korean relations will be made within the framework of international sanctions on the North, in ways that do not counter current sanctions.