South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun called on North Korea to participate in the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics during a ministerial meeting at the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday local time, the foreign ministry said.
He said the international community and the North should use the global sports event as an opportunity to talk to each other at a time when security concerns have been mounting for months due to the North's repeated provocations and refusal to talk.
"I would like to underscore that the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games should be an Olympics for peace," he said, urging the North to the games "to seize this opportunity for dialogue."
North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Ja Song-nam made a rare appearance at the meeting. He reportedly didn't respond to the invitation and only reiterated that the North's nuclear weapons were "an inevitable self-defensive measure" to guard itself against American nuclear threats.
Cho also warned that the North is "in the final stages of nuclear weaponization" and that it will "fundamentally alter the security landscape in the region and beyond" if the North is capable of putting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
"We should not be coerced by North Korea's continuing provocations, but rather uphold our principles while firmly responding to its reckless behaviors. At the same time, we should not be provoked into conflict nor should we shut the doors of dialogue and peace," he said.
The international community should make the North realize how costly its provocation will cost, he said, adding that more efforts should be made by the U.N. to bring the North to the negotiating table to solve the matter peacefully. (Yonhap)