Seoul, Apr 4 (EFE).- South Korea Monday urged the North to return to peace talks and avoid escalating tensions in the peninsula.
“The Ministry of Unification points out that North Korea should not cause additional tension on the Korean Peninsula in any case,” ministry spokesperson Lee Jong-Joo told reporters.
Lee “strongly” urged Pyongyang to return to the path of dialog and cooperation.
The neighbors have been technically at war for over six decades, as the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War in 1953 was never replaced with a formal peace treaty.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong Sunday referred to South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook’s “pre-emptive” strike remarks.
Kim said the “reckless and intemperate rhetoric about the ‘preemptive strike’ has further worsened the inter-Korean relations and the military tension on the Korean Peninsula.”
The regime’s deputy propaganda director said Suh “dare mentioned the ‘preemptive strike’ at a nuclear weapons state, in his senseless bluster which will never be beneficial to South Korea, either.”
Kim’s remarks came after Suh said Friday that the South Korean military had a variety of missiles capable of “accurately and swiftly striking any targets in North Korea” if it detected a missile launch.
Despite Kim’s harsh rhetoric, the two Koreas held their daily morning call via the inter-Korean liaison office on Monday.
North Korea, which remains cut-off due to the coronavirus pandemic with no sign of opening up to the outside world soon, approved a five-year military modernization plan in January 2021.
Pyongyang conducted a record 12 latest weapons tests so far this year.
North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic in mid-March, its first in nearly five years. The South responded by launching its missiles.
Satellite images also suggest the regime could soon test a submarine-launched ballistic missile and detonate a nuclear bomb for the first time in five years.
Pyongyang will host a military parade on Apr.15 to mark the 110th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder and grandfather of the current leader. EFE