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S. Korea 'carefully' mulling timing of offering talks with N.K.

All News 11:23 January 02, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification ministry said Tuesday it is "carefully" considering the timing of proposing talks with North Korea as the North's leader expressed his willingness to send a delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Monday that his country is open to dialogue with Seoul over its intent to take part in the Winter Games to be held in South Korea next month.

"The ministry is carefully mulling proposing dialogue with the North and is in consultations with other government agencies," a ministry official said.

South Korea's presidential office welcomed Kim's olive branch, saying that Seoul is open to talks with the North "at any time, in any place and in any format."

The official declined to elaborate on whether Seoul's offer could come this week.

He added that the North did not show any reaction to a call by a South Korean liaison official at the truce village of Panmunjom earlier in the day.

"We will make another attempt for contact later in the day," the official said.

The two Koreas used to talk over phones installed at the liaison office twice a day to keep inter-Korean communication channels.

But the North has not answered a call by the South since it severed the channel in February 2016 in an angry protest against Seoul's shutdown of an inter-Korean industrial complex.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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