North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday and reportedly said that declaring an end to the Korean War does not have to be the only corresponding measure the U.S. needs to take in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons.
A South Korean high-ranking official said on Tuesday that what Pyongyang basically wants is to improve its relations with Washington and it proposed declaring an end to the Korean War as a key measure in doing so. “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that he is willing to accept other measures that can bring exchanges between North Korea and the U.S. if declaring an end to the Korean War cannot be done immediately,” he added. In this regard, when Kim met with Pompeo, the young leader agreed to allow outside inspectors into Yongbyon nuclear complex and missile engine test sites in Tongchang-ri. Once international inspectors stay in North Korea, official exchanges of human resources and goods between the two countries would begin and sanctions relief could be considered for the North.
“It could be uncomfortable for the U.S. to declare an end to the Korean War with the participation of China at a time when it is at odds with China over many issues, including a trade dispute between the two countries,” said a diplomatic source. “There can be a growing concern within Washington that North Korea is only using a time-buying strategy if the nuclear facilities where inspectors are invited into are proved to be ineffective.”
Sang-Jun Han firstname.lastname@example.org