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North Korea Demands End to Sanctions, Calls For Peace Treaty

North Korea’s official news agency has reported that the nation’s foreign ministry has called for a peace treaty between the repressive Northern state and South Korea, both of whom have formally been at war since 1950—when the Korean War began. The conclusion of a peace treaty is believed to be a precondition for the resumption of the stalled six–party talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s ongoing nuclear program. North Korea’s foreign ministry has stated that “It is essential to conclude a peace treaty for terminating the state of war, a root cause of the hostile relations between Pyongyang and the US.”

A North Korean diplomat also stated that all international sanctions must be lifted before the North could resume talks with the United States. The US has consistently held across administrations that disarmament of the Korean Peninsula must occur before any discussions of lifting international sanctions or concluding a peace treaty begin. However, Choe Jin-su, the North Korean envoy to China, said, “Only if the sanctions on [North Korea], these barriers expressing discrimination and distrust, are removed can the six-party talks resume.”

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