The United States is ready to formally end the war with North Korea later this year and forge diplomatic relations with the communist state next year if Pyongyang dismantles its nuclear program, Washington's top envoy in Seoul was quoted Friday as saying. US Ambassador Alexander Vershbow made the remarks to a group of South Korean lawmakers who visited the North recently, according to the minutes of the meeting provided by the office of Rep. Kim Jong-yull. The US fought alongside South Korea against the invading communist troops from the North during the 1950-53 Korean War. The conflict ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, leaving the divided peninsula still technically at war. The US, as leader of the UN forces, signed the truce with North Korea and China.