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S. Korea says it wants to candidly discuss pending issues with N.K.

All Headlines 11:14 August 17, 2017

SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday called on North Korea to accept its offer for military and family reunions talks to discuss pending issues of mutual concerns in a candid manner.

Seoul's unification ministry stressed that it seeks neither a hostile policy toward North Korea nor a regime change and absorption-based unification.

"We expect that North Korea could positively respond to our proposals for military and Red Cross talks where the two Koreas could frankly discuss issues of mutual interests," said an official at Seoul's unification ministry.

North Korea has kept mum toward Seoul's July proposal for military talks on easing border tensions and dialogue aimed at discussing reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Instead, tensions between the North and the United States had heightened amid exchanges of bellicose rhetoric between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership.

Pyongyang had threatened to fire four ballistic missiles toward the waters off the U.S. territory of Guam, but it backed off its threat Tuesday after key U.S. officials dismissed the risk of an imminent war with the North.

President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday that the government will make efforts to prevent a war by all means. He made the remark at a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.

An image of South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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