US says peace regime with North Korea only after denuclearisation

A Korean People's Army soldier standing at the North Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone. The Korean War ended in an armistice without a peace treaty, leaving the US and North Korea at war.
A Korean People's Army soldier standing at the North Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone. The Korean War ended in an armistice without a peace treaty, leaving the US and North Korea at war.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - The United States said on Monday (July 23) that any peace regime with North Korea will come only after Pyongyang has dismantled its nuclear weapons programme, Yonhap news agency reported.

The comment by a State Department spokesman comes as denuclearisation talks have stalled amid North Korea's demands for a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

The conflict, in which the US fought alongside South Korea, ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war.

"Peace on the Korean Peninsula is a goal shared by the world. However, the international community has repeatedly made clear it will not accept a nuclear-armed DPRK," the spokesman said in response to a Yonhap query, using an acronym for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"As we have stated before, we are committed to building a peace mechanism with the goal of replacing the Armistice agreement when North Korea has denuclearised," the official added.

According to Yonhap, US and North Korean officials have reportedly made little progress on implementing a deal reached by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their historic summit last month.

The agreement committed Kim to the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the US.

 
 

Pyongyang views a formal end to the war as a security assurance for removing its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. The regime has long claimed the weapons are a deterrent against US "hostility" towards it.

Trump lashed out at the media for casting the negotiations as slow-moving.

"A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in nine months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy," he tweeted earlier in the day. "But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!"