FM Chung restates commitment to resuming dialogue with N. Korea
SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong has reiterated South Korea's commitment to resuming dialogue with North Korea during a regional forum, his office said Thursday, amid lingering uncertainty over the prospects of nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang.
Chung stressed Seoul's steadfast focus on dialogue efforts during Wednesday's virtual ministerial session of the East Asia Summit (EAS), as the North's blunt warning against the planned South Korea-U.S. military exercise eclipsed the hopes for dialogue that reemerged after last week's restoration of inter-Korean communication lines.
This week, Chung is taking part in a series of multilateral gatherings led by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including the ASEAN Regional Forum slated for Friday.
"Minister Chung explained recent progress on the Korean Peninsula, including the restoration of inter-Korean communication lines," the foreign ministry said in a press release.
"He also expressed a will to make efforts to resume dialogue based on close cooperation with the international community, including the United States, and requested support from the EAS regarding the endeavors," it added.
Participants in the session shared an understanding of the importance of dialogue to achieve denuclearization and lasting peace on the divided peninsula, the ministry said.
At the meeting, Chung stressed the need to strengthen cooperation among EAS member countries in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, and Seoul's commitment to an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
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