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Ministry says dialogue and cooperation 'best way' for stable control of peninsula situations

North Korean flag (Reuters-Yonhap)
North Korean flag (Reuters-Yonhap)
Dialogue and cooperation are the best way to ensure stable and peaceful control of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, a unification ministry official said Thursday, after North Korea said that it is not interested in resuming talks with the United States.

On Wednesday night, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon issued a statement, saying that his country is not considering "even the possibility of any contact with the US" A day earlier, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said that the US has "wrong" expectations for dialogue with Pyongyang.

The back-to-back statements came right after US nuclear envoy Sung Kim said in Seoul that Washington has offered to meet with the North "anywhere, anytime without preconditions" and looks forward to Pyongyang responding positively to the overtures.

"Our stance has been made clear on several occasions that the best way for peaceful and stable control of situations on the Korean Peninsula is through dialogue and cooperation and that stance remains unchanged," the ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"With that in mind, we will do whatever it takes to resume dialogue between the South and the North, and the North and the US," the official added.

The official said that the North's latest statements cannot be seen as positive but pointed out that they were relatively brief and appeared to have no direct rebuke of the US government and threats of provocations.

"It is too early to conclude that those statements represent Pyongyang's official stance on dialogue. We have to closely watch future developments," the official said.

Last week, North Korean leader Kim urged his country to be ready for both dialogue and confrontation with the US and called for concentrating efforts on taking stable control of the situation on the peninsula, raising cautious optimism that Pyongyang might be gearing up for nuclear talks.

Nuclear talks between the US and the North and inter-Korean relations have remained stalled since the Hanoi summit between then US President Donald Trump and Kim in 2019 ended without a deal. (Yonhap)