North Korea's state media reported Tuesday on this week's inter-Korean summit, calling it a "good opportunity" to improve ties between the two Koreas.
"The Pyongyang summit aimed at implementing the Panmunjom declaration for peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula will offer an important opportunity in further accelerating the development of inter-Korean relations that is making a new history," the Korean Central News Agency said.
The report came before South Korean President Moon Jae-in embarked on a three-day trip to Pyongyang for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, focusing on discussion on denuclearization and inter-Korean relations.
It follows his first summit in April and another in May, both held at the truce village of Panmunjom.
During the April summit, the two leaders agreed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, halt hostile acts against each other and foster cross-border exchanges.
Their third summit comes amid stalemated negotiations between the North and the United States on ridding Pyongyang of its nuclear weapons since the historic summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.
The North wants phased and simultaneous reciprocal measures from the U.S. for measures it takes to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The U.S. claims that substantive denuclearization steps should come before any concessions.
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, blamed the U.S. for the current impasse in denuclearization talks, calling on Washington to drop its unilateral demand and cooperate in declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice.
"It is absolutely because of the U.S. that hampers North Korea-U.S. talks from moving forward," the newspaper said in a commentary, adding that the cause of the deadlock is Washington's unreasonable demand that Pyongyang give up nuclear weapons in a verifiable, irreversible and complete manner before talking about other issues.
The newspaper cited measures that the North has taken since the June summit with the U.S., such as suspending missile and nuclear tests, dismantling a nuclear test site and releasing U.S. citizens held in its country, for which it noted that U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his gratitude.
"In order to implement what was agreed in the summit between the North and the U.S., the U.S. should come out with a sense of sincerity," it said. "To resolve hostile relations between the two countries, among other things, it is necessary to replace the current armistice treaty with a peace treaty." (yonhap)