SEOUL-- The top diplomats of South Korea and New Zealand discussed North Korea's nuclear problem and bilateral cooperation during a telephone conversation on Monday, the foreign ministry said.

During the talks with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha shed light on the South Korean government's push to build peace on the Korean Peninsula, which she said is crucial in securing stability in the Asia Pacific region and beyond, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"The international community should respond to North Korea's military provocations of nuclear and missile tests with pressure and sanctions, but only in a way that eventually brings the North to the negotiating table," the ministry quoted Kang as saying.

Minister Brownlee voiced support for South Korea's peace facilitation plan and affirmed his country's cooperation with South Korea in resolving issues stemming from North Korea's nuclear and missile development, the ministry also said.

Ways to enhance bilateral ties were also discussed during the conversation while the ministers agreed to meet in person for further talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum set from Aug. 6-8 in Manila, the Philippines, which will bring together the foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its dialogue partners.

Source: Yonhap News Agency