North Korea Reaches out to US with Talk of Peace Treaty

Article excerpt

North Korea repeated a longstanding call Monday for a peace treaty to replace the Korean War armistice, in an apparent bid to deal more closely with the US.

North Korea called again for a Korean War peace treaty on Monday, in

an apparent bid to deal more directly with the United States while

putting off multilateral talks on its nuclear weapons program.

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry

spokesman as saying a peace treaty would "help terminate the hostile

relations" between North Korea and the US and "positively promote

the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at a rapid tempo."

The North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said the signatories of

the Korean War armistice should negotiate a Korean War treaty to

replace the armistice either in separate talks or during six- party

talks. The latter, last held in Beijing in December 2008, include

Japan, China, and Russia as well as the US and North and South Korea.

The reference to "signatories" in Monday's statement left open

the question of whether North Korea's call for a peace treaty is an

effort to bypass South Korea.

The US, China, and North Korea signed the Korean War armistice in

July 1953, but South Korea's Korean War president Rhee Syngman

refused. …


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