A general view shows the Juche tower and city skyline in Pyongyang on June 11, 2018. A top general of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has said Pyongyang wanted to "contribute to the security of Asia and the globe". (ED JONES / AFP)
BEIJING — A top general of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Thursday that his country seeks a "stable peace" and wants to turn the Korean Peninsula into "the cradle of peace and prosperity."
It is our unwavering stand to lead the current state of tension ... into stable peace and turn the Korean Peninsula that was once the hottest spot in the globe into the cradle of peace and prosperity.
Col General Kim Hyong-ryong, Vice Minister of the People's Armed Forces, DPRK
Vice Minister of the People's Armed Forces, Col General Kim Hyong-ryong, said at a defense forum in Beijing that Pyongyang wanted to "contribute to the security of Asia and the globe."
"It is our unwavering stand to lead the current state of tension ... into stable peace and turn the Korean Peninsula that was once the hottest spot in the globe into the cradle of peace and prosperity," Kim told participants at the opening session of the Xiangshan Forum hosted by China.
Kim said the DPRK was following through on agreements reached with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States, including the consensus reached with President Donald Trump at their June summit in Singapore.
DPRK leader Kim Jong-un has this year taken some steps to ease tensions, including dismantling a nuclear testing site. However, the US and its allies are reluctant to ease sanctions pressure unless the country takes significant disarmament steps.
Tensions along the DPRK and ROK border have dropped, as witnessed by a joint effort to remove mines from one of the heaviest Korean War battle sites at their border.
That is among a package of agreements the Koreas' defense ministers struck on the sidelines of their leaders' summit in September.
Kim Hyong-ryong met Thursday with ROK Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk at the forum. During their 10-minute encounter, the two reconfirmed their countries' plans to quickly carry out the agreements reached last month, Seoul's Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Trump raised hopes at the United Nations last month that a second summit with Kim Jong-un could occur "quite soon," striking a conciliatory tone one year after he used his debut at the UN to deride the autocrat as "Little Rocket Man" and threaten to "totally destroy North Korea." Pyongyang responded with its own insults and renewed threats of retaliation for any attacks.
The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea.
Organizers of the Xiangshan Forum said more than 500 representatives from 67 countries and seven organizations were attending the three-day gathering.
HONG KONG NEWS