The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States would need the process of narrowing difference in initial negotiations for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's unification minister said Monday.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a forum in Seoul that the process of ironing out differences between Pyongyang and Washington will be necessary in the initial phase of negotiations for the denuclearization, according to local media reports.
Cho's comments came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang over the weekend.
Shortly after Pompeo left Pyongyang, the DPRK's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that while the DPRK asked for simultaneous moves on formally declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War and the denuclearization, the U.S. side only insisted that the DPRK take steps for the comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID).
Calling the U.S. demand "unilateral" and "gangster-like," the DPRK Foreign Ministry said the U.S. side never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
After the historic summit in Singapore on June 12, top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump signed a joint statement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in return for security guarantees for the DPRK.
Pyongyang regards the signing of a formal agreement with Washington to end the Korean War, which ended with an armistice, as a key measure to remove the danger of war on the peninsula and normalize the DPRK-U.S. relations. The peninsula remains technically at war with the armistice agreement.
The South Korean minister said the leaders of the DPRK and the United States were moving in the same direction and showing clear willingness toward the denuclearization, anticipating a continued, condensed process in denuclearizing and building peace on the peninsula.
Cho said South Korea will closely communicate and cooperate with the DPRK, the United States, all relevant parties and the international community to create a virtuous cycle of the improved relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, and between Pyongyang and Washington, with relevant parties advancing the denuclearization and peace settlement on the peninsula.