Seoul says dialog with Pyongyang must not stop ‘under any circumstances’

Seoul, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Dialog between Pyongyang and Seoul and Washington must not stop under any circumstances, South Korea’s unification minister nominee said on Monday, two days after the North said that it does not see the need to resume talks with the United States.

“It is desirable that dialog between the South and the North, and between the North and the US continue without stopping under any circumstances,” Lee In-young said according to the local Yonhap news agency.

Lee also pushed for a “creative solution” to achieve peace with the North and urged the neighboring country to refrain from any action that could lead to military tension.

A North Korean official on Saturday said that the country does not “feel any need to sit face to face with the US” and accused Washington of using bilateral talks as “a tool for grappling its political crisis.”

Pyongyang’s statement came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he would try to get North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump to meet again before November’s presidential elections in the North American country.

Moon nominated Lee as the country’s unification minister on Friday, two weeks after former incumbent Kim Yeon-chul resigned from the post after Pyongyang blew up the inter-Korea liaison office on its territory, marking the lowest point in bilateral relations since 2018.

In early June, North Korea toughened its stance and accused Seoul of allowing activists in the South to send anti-regime balloons and leaflets over the border.

Although Seoul denounced the groups and increased police presence on the border, Pyongyang cut communication with the South and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office, which was considered a symbol of progress in the reconciliation process between the Koreas, who are technically still at war.

Analysts believe that the regime is using the propaganda balloons an excuse to harden a strategy of pressure, which originated in the failed denuclearization summit between Pyongyang and Washington in Hanoi in February last year.

Although only a formality as it cannot be rejected in the National Assembly, Lee’s nomination as minister must go through parliamentary confirmation for a formal announcement. EFE-EPA


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