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S. Korea urges N. Korea to stop escalating tensions over Kim's pledge to bolster nuclear power

A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. (Reuters)
A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. (Reuters)

The South Korean government called Thursday on North Korea to refrain from escalating tensions in the region, responding to a threat by its leader Kim Jong-un to strengthen the regime's nuclear capabilities.

"Our government and the international community have maintained the stance that North Korea should stop all acts that heighten tensions, including the advancement of its nuclear capabilities, and to return to the negotiating table," a unification ministry official said.

South Korea will continue efforts to achieve denuclearization and bring peace to the Korean Peninsula in close coordination with Washington while keeping a close eye on the North, the official added.

On Monday, North Korea showcased a massive intercontinental ballistic missile and other strategic weapons at a military parade, during which Kim vowed to beef up the country's nuclear capabilities at the "fastest possible speed." (Yonhap)

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