China expresses intention to play role in declaring formal end to Korean War
BEIJING, China on Thursday signaled its intention to actively engage in the process of formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War, as South Korea appears to be pushing for the declaration through a three-way summit with the United States and North Korea.
The war ended with an armistice, not with a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically at war. The armistice was signed by the U.S.-led United Nations Command, the North and China in July 1953.
"China supports ending the state of war on the Korean Peninsula swiftly and has maintained that a permanent peace process should be established to supplant the temporary armistice state," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in response to a question from Yonhap News Agency.
"China is a major party concerned with the Korean Peninsula issues, and will continue to play a suitable role as a signatory to the Armistice Agreement," she added.
Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has sent staff to Singapore ahead of a possible June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The move spawned speculation that Seoul is seeking a trilateral summit among South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump and Kim.
After his second summit with Kim on May 26, Moon voiced hopes that should the Trump-Kim summit succeed, the leaders of the two Koreas and the U.S. could push for a declaration of a formal end to the war.
At their first summit on April 27, Moon and Kim agreed to seek the declaration of an end to the war this year and push for a trilateral or quadrilateral summit to replace the armistice with a peace treaty.
The agreement has apparently made China concerned that its influence over the peninsula could be weakened, analysts said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency