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ROK still open to talk with DPRK

Updated: 2013-06-12 19:28
( Xinhua)

SEOUL - Republic of Korea's top policymaker in charge of inter-Korean relations said Wednesday that the abrupt call-off of high-level inter-governmental talks between Seoul and Pyongyang would be a temporary pain for new inter-Korean relations, implying that Seoul is still open to the dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"(The cancellation of the scheduled talks) is a pain for new inter-Korean relations" Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told reporters before holding a meeting with senior officials at the Unification Ministry.

Regarding his comments, an official at the Unification Ministry told that the minister intended to reiterate his willingness that ROK was open to a dialogue with Pyongyang.

Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok said in the prior day that the ROK government was still open to the dialogue, but he stressed that the DPRK should take sincere attitude.

ROK and the DPRK agreed at the working-level talks Monday to hold the first high-level talks in six years, but the talks scheduled to be hold on Wednesday and Thursday in Seoul was called off on Tuesday due to the disagreement over the level of chief delegates.

ROK's five-member delegation was scheduled to be led by Vice-Unification Minister Kim Nam-shik, but the DPRK lashed out at such nomination of lower-level governmental official, according to the unification ministry. Pyongyang nominated Kang Ji-young, director at the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (DPRK) as chief negotiator.

Seoul originally planned to send Unification Minister Ryoo to the meeting as the chief negotiator and wanted Kim Yang-gon, secretary of the Central Committee of Workers' Party of Korea, at the talks.