South Korea's unification minister called on North Korea on Tuesday to come to talks for "sincere dialogue" in a bid to bring peace and reconciliation to the divided peninsula.
In mid-June, the North made conditional offers for dialogue with South Korea, including the suspension of Seoul's joint military drills with the United States. In response, the South has urged Pyongyang to come to talks without laying down "improper preconditions."
Hong Yong-pyo said in a press conference with foreign reporters that the two Koreas "must engage in official dialogue" for peace and conciliation on a divided peninsula.
"The ROK government has always maintained its stance to engage in sincere dialogue with Pyongyang to discuss a broad range of issues of mutual interest. We look forward to Pyongyang's positive response as soon as possible," Hong said.
The ROK is the full name of South Korea, the Republic of Korea.
His remarks came as tension still remains high on the peninsula due to the North's ceaseless provocations including its launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine in May.
Hong stressed that only when strong security is combined with solid trust, then the Korean Peninsula can achieve sound peace.
"To this end, we will do our utmost to encourage Pyongyang to change its passive attitude and join us in bringing sound peace to the peninsula," he said. (Yonhap)