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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korean media on Monday criticized Seoul for not putting “active efforts” into declaring an end to the Korean War and the U.S. for delaying the process, in an editorial carried by online outlet the Arirang-Meari.
Blaming the U.S. and South Korea, the outlet, an outer-track organ not typically accessible to a domestic audience, claimed the process of implementing the DPRK-U.S. joint statement and April’s Panmunjom Declaration had not lived up to expectations of the international community and the Korean nation.
“The U.S. currently doesn’t show its sincerity while making a unilateral demand on the denuclearization, which is contrary to the spirit of the DPRK-U.S. joint statement,” Arirang-Meari said.
“The South Korean authorities also don’t put active efforts in resolving the issue.”
Arirang-Meari said the Moon administration has a “responsibility and obligation to put active efforts into declaring the end to the war this year which marks the 65th anniversary of the armistice agreement.”
“The South Korean authorities should carry out everything that they ought to do to keep their promise that there will no more war on the Korean peninsula…,” the media said, calling on Seoul to keep promises made in the Panmunjom Declaration.
The declaration of the end to the Korean War, the Arirang-Meari said, is the “first step to ease tensions and establish a solid peace regime on the Korean peninsula and an indispensable requirement for building trust between relevant parties.”
The report also condemned the “preposterous claim” in the U.S. that a declaration of the end of the war is “act of succumbing to the North.”
Such claims were described as the “fruits of the old-fashioned thoughts which attempt to bayonet its [dialogue] counterpart into submission.”
In a separate article, Arirang-Meari on Monday added more criticism of the Trump administration, reiterating its view that a declaration of the end of the Korean War is “the essential requirement for trust building between the DPRK and the U.S.”
“The U.S. — which caused the Korean War and participated in the war during the whole period — has especially its corresponding responsibility and the sense of obligation,” the outlet said.
“But the U.S. attempt to postpone the adoption of the declaration the end to the war citing various conditions and pretexts while considering it as the gift for someone.”
Arirang-Meari‘s claims echo those made by a DPRK foreign ministry spokesperson earlier in the month, following high-level DPRK-U.S. talks in Pyongyang.
Those comments saw the North Koreans denounce the U.S. for placing “certain conditions and excuses” on the establishing of a peace regime on the Korean peninsula.
Arirang-Meari on Monday reiterated the DPRK foreign ministry’s description of the U.S. as “making unilateral and gangster-like demands.”
DPRK state-run outlet the Uriminzokkiri on Monday also released an article attacking the Trump administration, saying Washington had previously “provided wholehearted support” for the issue.
“But what is regrettable is that the U.S., suddenly changing its stance, refused to declare the end of the war,” Uriminzokkiri, also an outer-track outlet, said, urging the Moon administration to take steps to achieve the goal.
“The South Korean authorities which ought to implement clauses of the Panmunjom Declaration should never stand idly by on the issue of declaring the end to the war.”
Saturday saw another state-run outlet, the DPRK Today, argue that the South Korean government “should never sit on its hands for the declaration for the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration.”
DPRK Today urged the Moon administration to “stick to the resolution of the issue more actively,” adding the two Koreas would be the ones damaged by acute military confrontation.
The media said the issue is a “serious matter” and must be resolved by the two Koreas alone.
Despite multiple North Korean online outlets releasing articles urging Seoul to take proactive efforts into the peace process, as of noon on Monday neither daily newspaper the Rodong Sinmun nor the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) have republished the comments.
In response to the North Korean coverage, the South Korean Ministry of Unification (MOU) on Monday repeatedly insisted the government aims to declare the end to the war this year, as agreed in the Panmunjom Declaration.
“With regard to time and period, we will closely discuss with North Korea, the U.S. among others, and additional consultation will continue between the two Koreas as well as the North and the U.S.,” ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said during a regular news briefing.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: KCNA