DPRK's proposal on discussing peace treaty not welcome: S.Korean official

07:45, January 12, 2010      

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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s latest proposal on discussing a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula in the framework of the six-party talks is not welcome, a South Korean foreign ministry official told Xinhua later Monday.

Based on Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan's recent statement, Pyongyang's proposal is not welcome, the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the Seoul's government is expected to make a formal response on the issue after coordinating stance.

The top diplomat Yu has said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Jan. 6 that Pyongyang's recent proposal on discussing a permanent peace treaty first is not consistent with the principle that was agreed in the Joint Statement of September 2005.

The Joint Statement proposed launching separate talks on such issue when there is certain progress in the denuclearization of the DPRK, Yu said, noting that Pyongyang's proposal only can be seen as a "tactics to stall its denuclearization process."

An unnamed government official on Monday was quoted by Yonhap as saying that the DPRK made the proposal as an attempt to "dilute the six-party negotiations' theme of the denuclearization."

The talks on a peace treaty and the negotiations on the denuclearization can not be held "in parallel," the official said, adding that he did not believe that Pyongyang's latest proposal will leave positive impacts on the resumption of the stalled international nuclear disarmament negotiations, as Pyongyang "brought up a topic heavier than the denuclearization."

Although the United States hasn't yet made its response on Pyongyang's proposal, but he believed Seoul and Washington will share common stance on the issue, the official said.

Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special envoy, has said after visited Pyongyang last month that Washington is ready to negotiate with the DPRK over the peace regime on the Korean Peninsula once progress has been made in the nuclear disarmament talks, the official said, noting that "Washington's position will be consistent."

He said the Seoul and Washington also agreed on that the DPRK's return to the six-party talks is not sufficient to lift sanctions imposed on it.

The DPRK said earlier Monday that it would discuss reaching a peace treaty with relevant state parties to replace the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, either in the framework of the six-party talks, or in a "separate forum" as what the Joint Statement of September 2005 proposed.

The Joint Statement, reached during the fourth six-party talks aiming to ending Pyongyang's nuclear program, says "the directly related parties will negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula at an appropriate separate forum."

Source: Xinhua
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