Seoul's unification minister said that a formal end to the Korean War will be helpful in finding a meaningful solution for North Korea.
Speaking at the International Forum on the Peace Economy on Friday, he called the end-of-war declaration a "great starting point".
He said the declaration itself is a political agreement that shows both sides are not hostile to each other, and based on the trust built around this, the two Koreas will be able to discuss mutual interests.
"I think the 'end of war declaration' is a great starting point in finding a meaningful solution. And for North Korea as well, which has been calling for a withdrawal of hostile policies."
The minister's remarks come as Seoul aims to sign the declaration to create fresh momentum to improve relations with Pyeongyang and resume stalled talks on denuclearization.
He also added that the time period from the end of this year to early next year is "crucial" in determining long-term relations with North Korea.
An expert who was at the forum said signing the declaration will be very difficult, with so many complicated issues with other countries including U.S., China and Russia, but they have to push through this.
"There is a lot of controversy on whether a formal end to the Korean War should come first, or denuclearization should come first. But it's not important what comes first. It's important that we get there. So I think we should continue to work on actually getting the end-of-war declaration done, rather than focusing on IF we can get it done."
Speaking via a video link at the forum, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum called for the two Koreas to cooperate on issues that will benefit both regions including in the medical field to overcome the pandemic as well as in the forestry sector.
"We have to start sorting out issues that are beneficial to both regions, and issues that nobody will be against."
Kim added that despite difficulties, there is a need to push the peace process on the Korean Peninsula forward.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.