Pyongyang asks Seoul for dialogue without outsiders ahead of new summit

Pyongyang asks Seoul for dialogue without outsiders ahead of new summit 

A handout photo made available by South Korea’s defense ministry shows Army Colonel Cho Yong-geun (R), South Korea’s chief delegate to inter-Korean working-level military talks, shaking hands with his North Korean counterpart Colonel Om Chang-nam (L) ahead of their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) 13 September 2018. EPA/SOUTH KOREA DEFENSE MINISTRY / HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Seoul, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Pyongyang on Friday requested via an article published in its state media that the dialogue to improve inter-Korean ties be held without outside interference, four days before the leaders of both countries are planning to have a new summit in Pyongyang.

“The North and South should make consistent efforts to improve their relations against any circumstances and atmosphere and faithfully carry out the Panmunjom Declaration,” said the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s Workers Party, in an article published Friday.

The article refers to a joint declaration signed by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in at their first summit in April, in which the leaders pledged their commitment to achieve the “complete denuclearization of the peninsula” and replace an multilateral armistice, that halted the 1950-53 Korean War, with a peace treaty.

“No matter how complex and intertwined the issue of inter-Korean relations and political situations surrounding the Korean Peninsula might be,” the newspaper said that the inter-Korean dialogue “is not something that should be endorsed by anybody” and that there is no reason to pay attention to the outsiders’ opinions about the two Koreas.

The North Korean media has called on Seoul to intensify its efforts to achieve the signing of a peace treaty based on what was agreed at the historic summit in April, and criticized the US for not including this issue in their denuclearization dialogue.

The peace treaty could also include Beijing as the Chinese volunteer army was also a signatory to the 1953 armistice, and this could help speed up North Korea’s nuclear disarmament process.

The second inter-Korean summit, to be held between Sep. 18 and 20 in Pyongyang, is expected to unblock the US-North Korea dialogue on denuclearization issues.