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(LEAD) U.S. says peace regime with N.K. after denuclearization

06:43 July 24, 2018

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WASHINGTON, July 23 (Yonhap) -- The United States said Monday that any peace regime with North Korea will come only after Pyongyang has dismantled its nuclear weapons program.

The comment by a State Department spokesperson comes as denuclearization talks have stalled amid North Korea's demands for a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

The conflict, in which the U.S. fought alongside South Korea, ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war.

"Peace on the Korean Peninsula is a goal shared by the world. However, the international community has repeatedly made clear it will not accept a nuclear-armed DPRK," the spokesperson said in response to a Yonhap query, using an acronym for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"As we have stated before, we are committed to building a peace mechanism with the goal of replacing the Armistice agreement when North Korea has denuclearized," the official added.

U.S. and North Korean officials have reportedly made little progress on implementing a deal reached by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at their historic summit last month.

The agreement committed Kim to the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S.

Pyongyang views a formal end to the war as a security assurance for removing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The regime has long claimed the weapons are a deterrent against U.S. "hostility" toward it.

Trump lashed out at the media for casting the negotiations as slow-moving.

"A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy," he tweeted earlier in the day. "But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!"

hague@yna.co.kr
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