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S. Korea says N. Korean leader sister's weekend remarks 'meaningful'

The flags of South and North Korea (123rf)
The flags of South and North Korea (123rf)
The unification ministry on Sunday described the weekend remarks by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister about the possibility of holding "constructive" discussions on inter-Korean issues as "meaningful."

On Saturday, Kim Yo-jong said the North could declare a formal end to the Korean War as suggested by the South and even discuss holding an inter-Korean summit if the South treats the North with "impartiality" and mutual respect.

The statement, carried by the Korean Central News Agency, came a day after Kim said South Korean President Moon Jae-in's recent proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War is an "admirable idea" and the North is willing to discuss improving inter-Korean ties if Seoul ceases to be hostile toward it.

"Our assessment is that the statement that the North can address one by one various issues for improving inter-Korean ties through constructive discussions ... is meaningful," the ministry said.

"Given that for such discussions, it is important to have smooth and stable communication between the two Koreas, the inter-Korean communication lines should first be swiftly restored," it added.

The ministry also voiced expectations for the two Koreas' authorities to resume dialogue so they can discuss solutions to pending issues while ensuring the situation on the peninsula remains stable.

Kim's statement followed concerns over the North's recent cruise and ballistic missile launches and signs of the reclusive regime reactivating a key nuclear reactor at its mainstay Yongbyon complex.

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae did not make an official response to Kim's weekend remarks.

"We are cautiously reviewing the content of the statement," a presidential official said on condition of anonymity. "The government has maintained a consistent position for the restoration and development of inter-Korean relations." (Yonhap)

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