Early Saturday, North Korea called for the conclusion of a peace treaty with the United States and a halt to U.S. military exercises with South Korea to end its nuclear tests.
The Northern half of the Asian country has long sought a peace treaty with the United States, as well as an end to the exercises by South Korea and the United States, which has about 28,500 troops based in South Korea.
“Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for U.S. halt to joint military exercises,” North Korea’s news agency KCNA cited a spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry as saying on Saturday.
When asked if the United States would consider a treaty to stop exercises, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. had alliance commitments to the Southern Asian nation.
“We are going to continue to make sure the alliance is ready in all respects to act in defense of the South Korean people and the security of the peninsula,” he said during a press meeting.
On Jan. 6, North Korea said it had tested a hydrogen bomb, provoking condemnation from its neighbors and the United States.
Experts have expressed doubt that the North’s fourth nuclear test was of a hydrogen bomb, as the blast was approxinately the same size as that from its previous test of a less powerful atomic bomb in 2013.