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S. Korea, US in active discussion over end of war declaration: Envoy

Seoul, Nov 10 (IANS) South Korea and the US are actively discussing the possibility of declaring a formal end to the Korean War with North Korea, South Korean Ambassador to the US Lee Soo-hyuck said.

Lee said the countries are also working to devise an end of the Korean War declaration draft.

"There is not only an exchange of views on the draft of an end of war declaration between South Korea and the US, but the countries are also continuing their active and creative efforts with regard to the end of war declaration issue," the Ambassador said while meting with reporters in Washington.

The discussion between Seoul and Washington came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in renewed his call for an end of war declaration in his address to the UN General Assembly in September, Yonhap news agency reported.

Seoul believes an end of war declaration by South Korea, North Korea and the US can help restart dialogue with North Korea, which has stayed away from denuclearisation negotiations since 2019. The North is also ignoring recent US overtures, citing what it claims to be US hostility toward Pyongyang.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, however, has hinted at possible differences between South Korea and the US over when an end of war declaration can or should be made.

"We may have somewhat different perspectives on the precise sequence or timing or conditions for different steps," he said earlier when asked if the US supported the Seoul-proposed end of war declaration.

South Korea and North Korea technically remain at war as the 1950-53 war ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.

Seoul and Washington are said to have not yet made an official proposal to the North to discuss an end of war declaration.

US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim has said the US was open to discussing any issues with the North with no preconditions.