White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on the 26th (local time) mentioned a ‘different point of view’ between South Korea and the United States on North Korea policy, which is interpreted as actually drawing a line in the declaration of an end to the Korean War, which the South Korean government is actively pursuing. Some analysts say that the South Korean government has put a brake on the situation in which remarks are being made, such as that there is a ‘textual consultation’ between South Korea and the US in relation to the declaration of an end to the war.
It means that the ‘exact order, timing, or condition’, which Sullivan said when asked about his position on the end-of-war declaration, that there may be different points of view, has not yet been met. It was also the first time that Adviser Sullivan, who had a meeting with Blue House National Security Director Suh Hoon at the White House on the 12th, officially revealed the difference in perception between South Korea and the US on North Korea policy. At that time, Chief Executive Officer Seo explained South Korea’s position on the declaration of an end to the Korean War and announced that the two countries had agreed to closely discuss.
Some analysts say that the reason why Adviser Sullivan revealed the difference in positions between South Korea and the United States on North Korea policy was that the Korean government’s declaration of an end to the war was not effective and that there was no benefit to the United States.
First of all, North Korea has consistently refused to respond to the US’s continued demand for ‘unconditional dialogue’ and humanitarian aid proposals. In a situation where dialogue between the two Koreas is not taking place properly, the possibility of a declaration of an end to the war, which requires North Korea’s response, is very low. It is also pointed out that it is ironic that the ROK and the US are pushing for an end-of-war declaration in a situation where there is no change in North Korea’s attitude. North Korea has continued its provocations, including the recent launch of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
An official familiar with the US Congress said, “The North Korean issue is not a priority under the current Joe Biden administration. Another source in Washington also explained, “On the issue of China and North Korea, the opinions of the Democratic and Republican parties do not differ significantly, but in the case of a declaration of an end to the war, the Republican Party is currently in a difficult situation to accept.”
Mi-yeon Oh, director of the Asian program at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in the US, analyzed Sullivan’s remarks about the end of the war in a call on the same day, saying, “It can be seen that he is trying to carefully consider major variables such as next year’s (Korea) election from various angles.” With only five months left in the Moon Jae-in administration’s term of office, the emphasis was placed on ‘management’ of the situation rather than ‘change’ such as the declaration of an end to the war.
The legal issue of the end-of-war declaration continues to be raised. The Korean government is of the view that the declaration of an end to the war is close to a ‘political declaration’, but it is known that the White House and the State Department have begun legal review. This is because there is concern that the legal status of the US Forces Korea or the United Nations Command may change with the declaration of an end to the Korean War. Lee Seok-hyun, senior vice-chairman of the Advisory Committee for Democratic Peace and Unification, who was visiting Washington on the same day, met with Democratic House of Representatives Tom Swooge, who is classified as a pro-Korean, and emphasized that “there will be no withdrawal of US troops from Korea even after a declaration of an end to the war.”
The fact that the declaration of an end to the war is not a matter between the two Koreas or between South Korea and the United States, but rather a four-party consultation that includes China is also a premise for the United States, which is at odds with China.
On the previous day, Defense Ministry spokesman John Kirby emphasized China’s role in denuclearizing North Korea, unusually when asked about North Korea’s SLBM launch and military build-up between North Korea and China. “China has influence in North Korea, and that influence is critical to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Kirby said. It could be,” he said.
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