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(LEAD) N.K. leader can discuss Moon's proposal to install liaison offices in Seoul, Pyongyang: minister

All Headlines 18:50 May 01, 2018

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; UPDATES lead, 3rd para)

SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said it's possible to talk over South Korean President Moon Jae-in's proposal to install liaison offices in Seoul and Pyongyang to enhance bilateral communication during last week's summit, according to Seoul's unification minister Tuesday.

Minister Cho Myoung-gyon made the remarks during talks with Lee Jeong-mi, the chief of the minor Justice Party, while noting the proposal is separate from the agreement in the inter-Korean declaration to build a joint liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong.

"President Moon made the call to communicate on a permanent basis through the offices in Seoul and Pyongyang, and Chairman Kim said he hopes things can turn out in that way," Cho was quoted as telling Lee.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (L) holds talks with Lee Jeong-mi, the leader of the minor Justice Party, at the National Assembly in Seoul on May 1, 2018. (Yonhap)

In response to Lee's question of whether the North Korean ruler's leadership has been solidified, the minister said that Kim's standing is "firm," and that he appears to be moving forward with a clear strategic goal to enhance the lives of his people.

Cho also said that the North Korean leader appears to have shown "strong will" for economic development.

The reclusive leader has recently shifted his policy focus toward economic reconstruction after years of nuclear and missile provocations that have resulted in crippling international sanctions to the detriment of his country's economy.

The party leader, in turn, stressed that now is the time for parliamentary cooperation in expediting the Seoul government's peace efforts.

"I have this hope that the president and government will strive harder to embrace all parties," she said.

The leaders of the two Koreas held their historic summit just south of the Military Demarcation Line at the truce village of Panmunjom last Friday.

In their Panmunjom Declaration, they affirmed the shared goal of "complete denuclearization" and agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other, as well as to seek a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and a peace regime among other things.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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