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Seoul urges N. Korea to start new year by opening door for dialogue

All News 11:41 December 27, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification ministry on Monday urged North Korea to start the new year with a step for dialogue and cooperation, as Pyongyang is set to convene a key party meeting this week to discuss domestic and foreign policy issues.

North Korea earlier announced the ruling Workers' Party will hold a plenary meeting of its central committee "in the last third of December" to "discuss and decide on work plans for the new year."

"The plenary has been usually held for one to four days with leader Kim Jong-un's attendance," ministry spokesperson Lee Jong-joo said during a regular press briefing.

The Seoul government is keeping a close watch on the expected event for possible messages on inter-Korean relations or nuclear negotiations, she said.

"We hope North Korea will start the new year by opening the door for dialogue with the international community, and take a step forward for engagement and cooperation," Lee said.

The remarks came as the nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States remain stalled since the collapse of the 2019 Hanoi summit.

Pyongyang has remained unresponsive to overtures for talks, demanding Washington first retract what it calls "double standards" and "hostile policy" against its regime.

In this photo, released by the Korean Central News Agency on Dec. 7, 2021, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a meeting of the North Korean Army's educationists at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang on Dec. 4 and 5. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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