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Foreign ministry pledges efforts for denuclearization amid escalating N.K. threats

Diplomacy 14:52 October 04, 2022

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry pledged efforts Tuesday to create conditions that will give North Korea no other option but to give up its nuclear weapons amid heightened concerns it could conduct a nuclear test in the coming weeks.

In a policy report to a parliamentary audit, the ministry reaffirmed its commitment to North Korea's nuclear threat, dissuade its nuclear development, and take a comprehensive and balanced approach toward denuclearization through dialogue and diplomacy.

South Korea will also consider imposing additional U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang in cooperation with the United States, Japan and other countries, as well slapping its own sanctions, should the North engage in major provocative acts, such as a nuclear test.

The audit session came just hours after the North fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile for the first time in eight months. Since Sept. 25, it has launched a total of seven short-range ballistic missiles.

People watch a TV report at Seoul Station on Oct. 4, 2022, on North Korea's firing of an intermediate range ballistic missile into the Pacific past Japan earlier in the day. North Korea has conducted five missile launches in just over a week in apparent protest of joint military exercises involving South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, including a naval exercise with the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. (Yonhap)

On Seoul-Tokyo ties, the ministry touted the meeting between President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last month, saying the two sides shared the need to improve bilateral relations as they met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

It vowed to continue efforts to "resolve pending issues" and restore a trust-based relationship by reviving the so-called "shuttle diplomacy."

The ministry also reaffirmed its plan to open a high-level communication channel with China and said it will maintain coordination with Beijing to arrange President Xi Jinping's possible trip here.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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