Moon: Seoul Ready for Talks if N. Korea Stops Provocations

The meeting resulted in the signing of the landmark June 15th South-North joint declaration. Pyongyang test-launched anti-ship cruise missiles on June 8, its 10th test this year and its fourth since Moon took office on May 10.

Ken Gause, a North Korea expert who is director of the worldwide affairs group at CNA Corp.in Washington, also said, however, that whether such rare exchanges would lead to a resumption of talks depends on the conditions of the comatose student Otto Warmbier.

"I use this opportunity to once again urge the North".

However, over the next few years, incidents like the naval skirmish in 2002 that left 6 South and 13 North Koreans dead, and Pyongyang's first nuclear test in 2006, severely damaged the relationship.

The speech comes amid continued missile development by the DPRK. "I'm willing to sit down for a face-to-face discussion of how we will go about implementing the current inter-Korean agreements". "If the North fulfills this, we will actively help".

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Drawing a parallel between the present day and inter-Korean relations during the Kim administration, he suggested it was always possible to resolve crises through dialogue.

"We have the will, wisdom, and capability to resolve the North Korean issue, settle peace on the Korean Peninsula and eulogize co-prosperity of the South and the North based on the worldwide cooperation, including with the USA", he said. Since his presidential campaign, Moon has said he means to reach a new agreement while respecting previous inter-Korean agreements. US officials say the release was not connected with Rodman's visit. The two allies face challenges to iron out differences over dealing with North Korea and its alarming missile and nuclear program, the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and the Korea-U.S. FTA pack under explicitly conservative and liberal leaders.

  • Leroy Wright