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Pyongyang rails at U.S., South’s foot-dragging

July 24,2018
North Korean media criticized the United States and South Korea Monday for dragging their feet on a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, accusing Washington of being only interested in denuclearization.

Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean government-run propaganda website, said it “regretted” the United States’ “about-face” on the war-ending declaration issue even as it previously showed support to the Panmunjom Declaration signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their first summit on April 27, which reads that Seoul, Washington and Pyongyang will work together on the goal.

The news outlet accused the U.S. of “refusing” to declare an end to the Korean War, adding that South Korea was “idly standing by.”

The article continued: “It’s a historical task that mustn’t be postponed any further.”

At issue was a part of the Panmunjom Declaration that read, “During this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China, with a view to declaring an end to the war and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.”

Arirang-Meari, another state propaganda website, wrote Monday that implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and the joint statement signed between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump during their summit on June 12 was falling short of the world’s expectation.

Both Washington and Seoul were to blame for this, wrote the website, because the U.S. was unilaterally pushing the North to give up its nuclear weapons, which goes against the spirit of the Kim-Trump joint statement. On South Korea’s part, the country hasn’t shown any “active efforts” to solve the stalemate between Pyongyang and Washington, the website continued. Arirang-Meari warned that if South Korea keeps turning a blind eye to the situation, peace would “fail to find its way to the Korean Peninsula” and the Panmunjom Declaration will “lose its light.”

North Korea’s venting of frustration came only days after the state’s major Rodong Sinmun newspaper excoriated South Korean President Moon and local authorities for what it said was kowtowing to the United States on inter-Korean issues, urging Seoul to distance itself from Washington.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]