SEOUL (Kyodo) -- The South Korean presidential office said Monday that Seoul hopes the United States and North Korea will declare an end to the Korean War this week, and that the symbolic move will in practice resolve the issue, local media reported.
The 1950-1953 conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving Washington and Pyongyang technically at war.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday and Thursday, and is seeking an end-of-war declaration from Washington as a first step toward guaranteeing his country's security.
"There is no way of knowing what kind of a declaration it might be, but I believe the United States and North Korea may reach an agreement on the declaration of war's end at any degree," South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui Kyeom said at a regular press briefing in Seoul, according to Yonhap News Agency.
In Kim's view, North and South Korea effectively declared an end to the war when their militaries signed an agreement in September to cease all hostile acts against each other, leaving only North Korea and the United States without a war-ending arrangement.
"Should the North and the U.S. declare the war's end, it (the war's end) would be achieved in the practical sense," the spokesman was quoted as saying.
But if a legally binding peace treaty is to be signed, he said, it should undergo a multilateral process involving North and South Korea, and China.
"Because a peace treaty must include a security guarantee by a multilateral number of countries, it is our government's stance that signing a peace treaty must be a multilateral process."
The Korean War armistice agreement was signed in July 1953 by the U.N. Command, North Korea's military and Chinese armed forces.
The upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea will be their second, following a first-ever summit in Singapore in June.
That summit resulted in a vaguely worded denuclearization agreement, in which Kim promised to work toward "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while Trump committed to providing security guarantees to North Korea.