11:47 GMT +322 October 2019
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    S Korea Willing to Improve Ties With N Korea Despite Nuclear Program

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    South Korea is prepared to start talks with North Korea as it does not see North Korea's denuclearization as a prerequisite for better inter-Korean ties, Seoul’s Minister Hong Yong-pyo said Tuesday.

    The minister said that the South Korean government is ready to provide support to Pyongyang if it works toward denuclearization.

    He added that whether the North would give up its nukes is not an "absolute prerequisite" for better inter-Korean exchanges, reports Yonhap.

    “It is not the government's stance that only when North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons program that the South would pursue dialogue and inter-Korean exchanges,” Hong Yong-pyo told a press conference with foreign reporters in Seoul.

    Nonetheless, Hong, stressed that Pyongyang should show a ‘sincere’ attitude toward denuclearization, calling on the North to make the ‘right’ choice.

    Regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, the minister said that it is expected to put some level of “pressure” on North Korea as the North is the only isolated country with nuclear weapons, media reports.

    Hong called on North Korea to come to talks for "sincere dialogue" in an effort to bring peace and reconciliation to the divided peninsula. He concluded saying that only when strong security is combined with solid trust then the Korean Peninsula can achieve peace.

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    Tags:
    South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), denuclearization, nuclear program, bilateral relations, dialogue, Hong Yong-pyo
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