Dialogue with North Korea important for peace, Seoul says

Oct. 13 (UPI) — South Korea called Friday for prioritizing dialogue, and working with the international community, in order to peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis.

Chung Eui-yong, the presidential Blue House’s director of national security, said President Moon Jae-in stands by a proposal he made in Berlin in July.

Moon had condemned North Korea provocations but also said Seoul would not pursue unification by force.

The South Korean leader is standing by his policy of engagement with Pyongyang under the right circumstances, according to Chung.

Chung made the remarks during a ruling party meeting with parliamentarians Choo Mi-ae and other lawmakers, Yonhap reported.

“The present situation is very critical,” Chung said in his report to Seoul’s national assembly.

“North Korea’s provocation and international sanctions are repeating a vicious cycle,” said ruling party spokeswoman Kim Hyun, quoting Chung.

Seoul’s national security director had said North Korea is moving toward a “strategy of negotiating after first coming into possession of nuclear weapons.”

“It is a challenge to world peace that goes beyond the threat to security on the Korean peninsula,” Chung said.

Chung’s remarks come at a time when South Koreans are concerned the United States may be dealing with North Korea without consulting allies.

The national security chief to Moon said “Korea passing” is unacceptable at a time of heightened tensions.

“It is important to maintain a dialogue based on the Berlin initiative,” Chung said.

Chung added Seoul continues to seek possibilities of dialogue, in coordination with the United States, and opportunities for talks must run parallel with pressure against Pyongyang, News 1 reported.

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