Unification minister vows efforts to resume inter-Korean contact next year

GANGHWA, South Korea– South Korea will continue to persuade North Korea to stop its military provocations, while making efforts to resume inter-Korean contact next year, Seoul’s top point man on unification said Tuesday.

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se made the remarks during his year-end press conference on Ganghwa Island in Incheon, around 30 kilometers west of Seoul, as North Korea has ramped up its weapon tests this year, refusing to have dialogue with the South and the United States.

“The government will seek measures to build trust with North Korea, no matter how trivial and minor it may be, and create conditions so that the North chooses dialogue and communication with the South,” he said.

“We will set the tone for inter-Korean cooperation by allowing civil organizations to resume exchanges on social, cultural and humanitarian areas early next year.”

The minister said the South is willing to provide food aid or other humanitarian assistance to the North “without flaunting” if the North asks for such aid.

Kwon stressed that the North will “only face deterrence and sanctions that are irrevocable,” should it decide to conduct another nuclear test.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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