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Top S. Korean diplomat calls for building effective communication lines with N. Korea

All Headlines 13:40 December 11, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Monday that effective communication lines need to be built with North Korea to convey the international community's united voice calling for the country's denuclearization.

"Opening effective communication channels should be pursued in order to deliver the international community's voice to estranged and isolated North Korea," Kang said in an international forum on "Nuclear-Free Korean Peninsula" hosted by the state-run Institute for Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS).

"It's (also) crucial to arrange reunions of separated families between South and North Korea as well as a hotline between the military authorities between the countries," she also said, stressing the Moon Jae-in government's policy vision to increase engagement with the North.

"The South Korean government plans to start with contact (with North Korea) to achieve those specific tasks in the process of seeking a more meaningful inter-Korean relationship," said the foreign minister.

North Korea's participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea would be "a favorable opportunity" in that vein, she also noted, hoping for Pyongyang's decision to join the international sports event.

Kang said the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons development entered "a new stage" upon the communist country's long-range ballistic missile launch on Nov. 29 and its declaration of its completion of the state nuclear force. "North Korea's nuclear (weapons) and missiles have now become a direct threat to the whole world from a limited threat to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia."

"No matter how much North Korea launches provocations, the international community will never tolerate North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons," she said, adding that the international community "will strengthen diplomatic efforts to bring the country out to the negotiating table by uniting even more closely and putting enveloping pressure."

At the core of South Korea's policy toward North Korea is "a solid South Korea-U.S. (military) alliance," she stressed. The allies are currently in close consultation on ways to increase the frequency of the deployment of U.S. strategic military assets on the Korean Peninsula as well as to acquire and develop South Korea's high-technology defense assets, Kang also noted.

Top S. Korean diplomat calls for building effective communication lines with N. Korea - 1

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