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.
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.