North Korea will reject any South Korean proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-1953 Korean War unless the United States withdraws its "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang, state-run media reported Friday, citing the nation's vice foreign minister.
Later in the day, leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister and close aide, Kim Yo Jong, also said in a statement that the war should not be terminated as long as there are "double-dealing standards" and "prejudice" against North Korea.
South Korean President Moon Jae In said in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that the two Koreas should formally end the war while urging the United States and North Korea to hold talks aimed at bringing about the denuclearization of the latter.
"Nothing will change as long as the political circumstances around the DPRK remain unchanged and the U.S. hostile policy is not shifted, although the termination of the war is declared hundreds of times," Ri Thae Song was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency as saying.
DPRK is the acronym of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.
"It should be clearly understood that the declaration of the termination of the war is of no help at all to stabilizing the situation of the Korean Peninsula at the moment but can rather be misused as a smokescreen covering up the U.S. hostile policy," the vice minister said.
Kim Yo Jong, meanwhile, said, "For the termination of the war to be declared, respect for each other should be maintained and prejudiced viewpoint, inveterate hostile policy and unequal double standards must be removed first."
"Smiling a forced smile, reading the declaration of the termination of the war and having photos taken could be essential for somebody but I think that they would hold no water and would change nothing, given the existing inequality, serious contradiction there-from and hostilities," she added, according to the KCNA.
Supported by China and the Soviet Union, North Korea fought against South Korea, which was backed by U.S.-led U.N. forces. The war ended in a cease-fire rather than a peace treaty. Pyongyang has no diplomatic relations with Washington.
North Korea has been at odds with the United States over denuclearization and sanctions relief. Pyongyang is believed to want the international community to ease economic sanctions designed to thwart its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions.
Meanwhile, Moon told reporters on his flight back to Seoul after attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York that North Korea seems to be keeping the door for dialogue open, with its recent tension-raising moves kept to a level low enough not to make the United States give up on dialogue with it.
The president said he believes North Korea will decide in the end that pursuing dialogue and a diplomatic path will be "more helpful," adding that Washington has shown a "strong will" to solve issues with Pyongyang through diplomacy.
The contents of his remarks were made public by his office on Friday.
The North launched two ballistic missiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Sept. 15 but has refrained from conducting a nuclear test or testing an intercontinental ballistic missile for several years.