The office of South Korean President Park Geun-hye cautioned Sunday against reading too much into her remark that she is willing to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at any time, saying it was an unspecific and general statement.
Park had made the remark in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro published Saturday. She said Seoul is ready to help the North and she can meet with the North's young leader if it is necessary for moving inter-Korean relations forward and promoting peace on the divided Korean Peninsula.
The comment drew attention because it contrasted with what Park said in an interview with the Washington Post in May. At the time she had said she sees no point in holding a summit with the North amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang's war threats.
"It was an answer in principle," senior presidential press secretary Lee Jung-hyun said.
Park arrived in Paris on Saturday for a three-day visit that includes summit talks with French President Francois Hollande on Monday mainly about expanding bilateral economic cooperation. Park also plans to seek France's support for Seoul's policy on the North.
France is the first leg of Park's three-nation trip that will also bring her to Britain and Belgium. (Yonhap News)