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South Korea Proposes Jan. 9 High-Level Meeting with North Korea

Jan. 2, 2018 (EIRNS)—South Korea has proposed high-level talks for Jan. 9 with North Korea in response to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s Day speech in which he expressed a willingness to resume inter-Korean dialogue. However, it appears that so far, the South Korean proposal has yet to be answered.

"(We) tried to communicate with North Korea at around 4 p.m. through a communication channel in Panmunjom, but North Korea remained unresponsive,"

the Unification Ministry said Tuesday, reports the Korea Herald. "

We hope that South and North Korea will sit down to discuss the North’s participation in the games and ways to improve inter-Korean ties in a frank manner. The government has a willingness to have dialogue with the North regardless of timing, place and format,"

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a press conference earlier Tuesday.

"We look forward to candidly discussing interests from both sides face-to-face with North Korea along with the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,"

he was quoted by Reuters. "I repeat, the government is open to talking with North Korea, regardless of time, location and form."

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is calling on the government to move quickly in response to Kim’s openness on inter-Korean dialogue.

"I hope the Unification Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Sports will swiftly come up with measures to quickly restore South-North Korean dialogue and realize the North Korean delegation’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics,"

Moon said in a Cabinet meeting.

"I view Chairman Kim Jong-un’s remarks about sending a North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics and holding government-level dialogue as a response to our proposal to turn the PyeongChang Olympic Games into a groundbreaking chance to improve South-North relations and establish peace,"

Moon stressed.

The Trump administration has so far been non-committal on Kim’s opening. "We are in close contact with the R.O.K. (South Korea) about our unified response to North Korea," Voice of America quoted a State Department official as saying when asked to comment on the address. U.S. President Donald Trump only said "we’ll see" when asked a similar question yesterday.