President Moon Jae-in says that declaring a formal end to the Korean War will be a milestone toward permanent peace. 

In a written interview with The Straits Times published Thursday which took place before his first state visit to Singapore, Moon said that it is the Seoul government's goal to declare an end to the war as was agreed in the Panmunjeom Declaration after April's inter-Korean summit. 

Moon said that discussions are under way between the two Koreas and between North Korea and the U.S. on when and how to declare it. 

The president also dismissed speculation over the possible pullout of U.S. forces from South Korea, saying that it is a matter of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, not an issue that can be discussed between Washington and Pyongyang in their nuclear talks. 

He added that Seoul and Washington suspended their joint military exercises to build trust to keep dialogue with Pyongyang alive, stressing the importance of building trust on all sides in the process of realizing the North's denuclearization. 

Moon also expressed gratitude to the Singaporean government and its people for making efforts to host the historic U.S.-North Korea summit last month. 

He said that Singapore was an important partner in his New Southern Policy aimed at expanding cooperation with Southeast Asia, expressing hope his three-day visit will serve as an opportunity to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation between the two nations.

[Photo : KBS News]