S Korean President May Visit Pyongyang If DPRK Changes Stance - S Korean Envoy

© AP Photo / Jon Chol JinPeople watch a launching of a Hwasong-12 strategic ballistic rocket aired on a public TV screen at the Pyongyang Train Station in Pyongyang, North Korea, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
People watch a launching of a Hwasong-12 strategic ballistic rocket aired on a public TV screen at the Pyongyang Train Station in Pyongyang, North Korea, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South Korean Ambassador to Russia Woo Yoon-keun on Thursday elaborated on the possibility of dialogue between the US and the DPRK as well as deployment of the US missile defense system in South Korea.

Washington-Pyongyang Dialogue

South Korea sees a possibility for a dialogue between the United States and North Korea, the US Congress members want to establish such a dialogue, Woo Yoon-keun said Thursday.

"The Congress members in the United States, for example, think that the dialogue with North Korea should be established now. That is why I see a possibility for a dialogue between North Korea and the United States here," the ambassador told reporters.

Woo added that Washington and Tokyo saw the latest changes of North Korea's position as the result of sanctions.

READ MORE: 'If N Korea Does Another ICBM Test, It Would Be a Red Line for US' — Professor

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The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become tense after the United States and North Korea traded threats and insults following Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests during the past year.

The UN Security Council has introduced multiple sanctions against North Korea in order to impede the development of the country’s nuclear program.

Earlier in January, US President Donald Trump has said that he was ready for negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, adding that, nevertheless, certain preconditions for such talks exist.

READ MORE: State Department: US Ready to Hold Talks With North Korea

In December, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington was willing to engage in negotiations with North Korea, provided Pyongyang halted its nuclear and missile tests.

THAAD

Deployment of any new components of US missile defense system in South Korea, apart from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) components already placed there, is not planned at the moment, the ambassador said.

"As far as I know, there are no plans for the deployment of [new] components," the ambassador told reporters.

Woo added that "all plans for the deployment of US missile defense system were aimed at the defense against North Korea, it does not concern Russia."

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In early September, South Korea deployed the final units of the THAAD missile defense system, which Seoul and Washington consider to be an important military deterrence measure against a potential nuclear strike from North Korea. The THAAD system is supposedly designed to intercept short and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase.

The move triggered sharp criticism from Russia and China, while Japan approved the steps, noting that they would help to promote peace and stability in the region.

Possible South Korean Visit to North

The visit of South Korean President to North Korea is possible if Pyongyang changes its position, Woo Yoon-keun pointed out.

"It [the visit] depends on the behavior of North Korea. If North Korea will show its position differently and change its position, then it is possible," the ambassador told reporters.

According to Woo, it would be necessary to hold military consultations before Seoul and Pyongyang's top-level negotiations.

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The ambassador added that South Korea had already proposed to Pyongyang to hold the military consultations.

Tensions between the South and the North have been running high over the DPRK's nuclear activity. The rapprochement between Koreas began to appear after the North Korean leader's New Year address, in which he voiced the idea of sending DPRK's athletes to the Olympics in South Korea.

In January, after a four-party meeting between North, South Korea, the International Olympic Committee and organizing committee of the 2018 Olympics in Lausanne, the IOC declared that the unified Olympic team of the two Korean states will take part in women's ice hockey under a "unification flag", while athletes from North Korea will compete in figure skating, short track and skiing.

READ MORE: Dancing 'Kim Jong-un' Scares Korean Cheerleaders at Olympics (VIDEOS)

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