By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, July 30 (Yonhap) -- More than a dozen U.S. lawmakers have signed a bill seeking to formally end the Korean War and establish liaison offices between the United States and North Korea, an activist group said Friday.
Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) signed the bill, "Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act," this week, becoming the 14th U.S. lawmaker to do so, according to the Korean American Public Action Committee (KAPAC).
The bill, proposed by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), was submitted to the House of Representatives on May 20.
"As Rep. Sherman said in a virtual press conference he held after submitting the bill on May 20, we strongly hope the bill will pass the House Committee on Foreign Affairs around this fall and pass the plenary session by early next year, so we can start to write new history of peace on the Korean Peninsula," KAPAC said in a released statement.
The proposed bill calls for U.S. efforts to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 war, which ended only with an armistice, technically leaving the divided Koreas at war to date.
"The United States should pursue a sustained and credible diplomatic process to achieve an end to the Korean War, and every effort should be made to avoid military confrontation with North Korea," it says.
It also seeks to encourage the U.S. government to engage with North Korea and establish a permanent channel of communication with the reclusive North.
"The Secretary of State should seek to enter into negotiations with the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea to establish liaison offices of the DPRK and the United States in the respective capitals of each such country," says the bill, released earlier by Sherman.
The United States currently has no diplomatic relations with North Korea.
KAPAC vowed stepped-up efforts to promote and rally support for the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act.
It noted a separate bill that seeks to require U.S. government efforts to realize family reunions of Korean Americans and their separated families in North Korea was passed by the House of Representatives in an unanimous vote.
"As seen in the case of the H.R.826, "Divided Families Reunification Act," that was unanimously passed by the House of Representative despite having only 27 endorsements since its submission on Feb. 4, the bill (Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act) too will have a great result regardless of the number of endorsing lawmakers if we continue to inform lawmakers that it is completely in line with the values of the U.S. Constitution, its national interest and human rights," it said.