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South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a ceremony in Australia's Parliament House in Canberra on Monday. Photo: Lukas Coch-Pool/Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday the U.S., North Korea, his country and China have agreed "in principle" to declare a formal end to the Korean War. But they've yet to meet on the matter due to Pyongyang's demands.

Why it matters: Moon believes the move would help restart stalled negotiations between the countries on Pyongyang's denuclearization. A State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement that U.S. officials were "prepared to meet without preconditions." 

  • "We hope [North Korea] will respond positively to our outreach," the spokesperson added.

Context: There's been no formal treaty ending the 1950-53 Korean War. So South and North Korea are still technically at war, backed by the U.S. and China, respectively.

Driving the news: Moon said during a news conference in Canberra, Australia, that North Korean officials were insistent that the U.S. lift what they describe as a "hostile policy" toward the country — a reference to American action such as sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

  • "Because of that, we are not able to sit down for a discussion or negotiation on the declarations" to officially end the war, Moon said.
  • "We hope that talks will be initiated," he added.

The bottom line: "The end-of-war declaration itself is not an ultimate goal," Moon said. But it would be an essential step in paving the way to restart negotiations on denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

Go deeper: Biden's Korean War diplomacy

Go deeper

Updated Jan 13, 2022 - World

U.S. presses UN to hit North Korea with more sanctions over missile tests

A broadcast reports on North Korea's Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on North Korean and Russian individuals and entities for supporting North Korea's ballistic missile program.

Driving the news: The announcement follows North Korea's two missile tests in the past week and leader Kim Jong-un's threat to bolster the country's nuclear weapons program.

Updated 11 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

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