Roh calls for permanent peace treaty between Koreas

Posted on : 2007-03-12 19:34 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST

President Roh Moo-hyun said Monday that his government will strive to replace the cease-fire that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a permanent peace treaty following the resolution of the North Korean nuclear weapons problem.

In a speech at the opening ceremony of the Special Conference of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) here, the president said that his government aims to develop the six-nation forum on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula into a permanent Northeast Asian multilateral security regime.

Roh also vowed to make his best efforts to force North Korea to carry out its Feb. 13 six-nation agreement on the disabling of its nuclear facilities and support the North's diplomatic normalization talks with the U.S. and Japan.

"The North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved peacefully, so that inter-Korean relations will advance to a new height and peace will be settled on the peninsula. The armistice in Korea should also be converted into a peace regime. To take this a step further, an order of integration and cooperation has to be created in Northeast Asia," Roh said.

"It is my belief that the (group of nations that participated in the) six-party talks in Beijing, based on its experience and competence in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, should continue to remain operational and eventually evolve into a multilateral consultative body for peace and security cooperation in Northeast Asia. This consultative body should continue to function as a permanent multilateral security cooperation entity devoted to controlling armaments and mediating disputes in the region, which is susceptible to an arms race."

Moreover, said the president, the security cooperation body may well develop into a consultative entity encompassing economic, diplomatic, environmental and other diverse issues.

Roh and U.S. President George W. Bush discussed a scheme to replace the cease-fire on the Korean Peninsula with a peace treaty during their summit in Vietnam last November.

Bush, in particular, stated that the U.S., as a signatory to the cease-fire of the Korean War, is willing to declare the formal end to the war and establish a peace treaty if North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons program.

The Korean War ended with an armistice, rather than a formal peace treaty, meaning South Korea still remains technically at war with North Korea.

Roh also stressed the IFJ's role in peace on the peninsula.

"I'm convinced that this IFJ special conference will greatly contribute to bolstering reconciliation and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula as well as promoting peace and common prosperity in Northeast Asia."
Seoul, March 12 (Yonhap News)

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