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ROK leader urges DPRK dialogue

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-18 09:22

Moon could dispatch a 'special envoy' to Pyongyang if it helps improve ties

SEOUL - Republic of Korea's President Moon Jaein on Thursday urged a dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to be resumed amid signs of de-escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

More efforts and time would be needed to reopen the dialogue, he said. Although it does not need to be in a hurry, the talks should be resumed, he added.

For the past decade under conservative ROK governments, talks between the two neighbors had almost been suspended over Pyongyang's nuclear tests and ballistic missile developments.

During the news conference to mark 100 days in office, Moon said the dialogue atmosphere would be created should Pyongyang at least stop further provocations.

The president said he could consider dispatching a "special envoy" to Pyongyang if it helps improve inter-Korean relations and helps resolve the nuclear issue under that atmosphere.

Tensions eased on the peninsula after US President Donald Trump said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-un made a "wise and well reasoned" decision not to fire missiles toward the US island of Guam.

According to the DPRK's official KCNA news agency, Kim had decided to delay the missile launch to wait and see what the United States would do next.

The war of words between Pyongyang and Washington had escalated tensions on the peninsula. Trump warned the DPRK last week that the country would be met with "fire and fury" if it continues threats to the US.

In response, the DPRK warned that it could fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles toward Guam, leading to Trump's warnings that the US military was "locked and loaded".

Moon said Trump had agreed to fully consult with and get consent from Seoul in advance no matter what options Trump and his country would use toward the DPRK.

Moon assured people that there would never be any more war on the Korean Peninsula, pledging to prevent conflict from breaking out by all means.

He stressed the importance for an international agreement, citing the unanimous adoption of a new UN Security Council resolution toughening sanctions on Pyongyang, which ban exports of mineral and seafood.

The sanctions, Moon said, were aimed at preventing war and to force the DPRK to come to the negotiating table.

Asked about what would be a red line, which Moon had warned Pyongyang not to cross, he said it was to weaponize a nuclear-tipped missile by completing what the DPRK called intercontinental ballistic missile mounted with a nuclear warhead.

Pyongyang tested ICBMs twice in July. In the second launch, the missile was lofted as high as about 3,700 kilometers and traveled about 1,000 km.

Moon said the DPRK was gradually nearing the red line, emphasizing that Pyongyang's further provocation should be stopped at this stage.


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