The Unification Ministry says that Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae’s statement on Thursday serves in effect as a proposal to hold talks with North Korea.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok elaborated during a briefing on Friday that although there was some confusion regarding the statement due to lack of explicit words, it is in fact a proposal for dialogue with the North.
The spokesman added that the ministry is keeping close tabs on changes and reactions from Pyongyang.
Kim said that North Korea is expected to deliberate over the South Korean government’s message and respond to it. He also predicted that North Korea might respond by suggesting talks with the South, which the South Korean government has no reason to reject.
Kim added that even if North Korea launches a missile, South Korea will stick to its basic principle that calls for resolving any problem through dialogue on the basis of strong security.
Ryoo held a news conference Thursday and announced that Seoul hopes North Korea will come to the negotiating table to discuss normalizing suspended operations at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and other issues.