S. Korea to seek resumption of dialogue with N. Korea based on achievement of Moon-Biden agreement
By Koh Byung-joon
SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry said Friday it will seek to restore communication lines and dialogue with North Korea based on "sufficient conditions" for engagement created by last week's summit between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden.
In a report to the National Assembly, the ministry also said that Pyongyang must be now thinking hard about its next steps after Moon and Biden agreed to take diplomatic and pragmatic approach in denuclearization efforts.
"The leaders of South Korea and the U.S. committed themselves to complete denuclearization and peace building on the Korean Peninsula and signaled a message for a flexible approach based on diplomacy," the ministry said. "Sufficient conditions for resumption of dialogue have been created."
"We will push to reconnect communication lines and resume dialogue between the South and the North," the ministry added. "We will make preparations for the possibility of dialogue thinking that it could happen anytime, anywhere and on any issues regardless of its format."
The ministry said that North Korea appears to be taking a "careful and restricted" attitude toward the U.S. since the Biden government took office in January, but it must be considering what steps to take after Washington recently completed its monthslong policy review on the North and last week's summit between Moon and Biden, which emphasized "flexibility" in dealing with Pyongyang.
The ministry also said it will first push for cross-border cooperation in the humanitarian sector, such as the provision of rice and fertilizer, adding that cooperation could be expanded into other areas depending on North Korea's response.
The North now appears to be shipping in some key farming materials from China and pushing to build disinfection facilities in the northwestern city of Sinuiju and the western port of Nampo, which the ministry saw as a signal to prepare for easing its tight border controls put in place to ward off a coronavirus outbreak.
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