North Korea proposes talks if South Korea lifts ‘hostility’

Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister says North Korea is willing to resume talks with South Korea if it doesn’t provoke the North with hostile policies and double standards. Kim Yo Jong’s statement was a response to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s renewed calls for a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War as a way to bring back peace.

Her proposal also came days after North Korea performed its first missile tests in six months amid a long-stalled nuclear diplomacy with the United States and South Korea performed its first test of a submarine-launched missile. She says an end-of-the war declaration can be adopted when the Koreas lift hostile policies and unfair double standards and biased views toward each other. She says North Korea is willing to hold “constructive discussions” with South Korea on repairing and improving ties under such conditions. Her comments were a contrast to a blunt statement by a senior North Korean diplomat earlier Friday that the end-of-war declaration could be used as a “smokescreen covering up the U.S. hostile policy” against the North. North Korea previously has said US-South Korean military exercises and US-led sanctions are examples of hostile policies against Pyongyang. In a response to Ri’s statement, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it’ll continue its efforts to adopt the end-of-the war declaration and strengthen cooperation with related countries. Cha Duck Chul, a deputy ministry spokesman, said declaring the war’s end would be “a very meaningful step” as it could be a starting point for peace negotiations and denuclearization on the peninsula.