Moon’s top security advisor points to need for dialogue with N. Korea

May 22, 2017

SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s top security advisor on Monday voiced a need to resume talks with North Korea, though he said the dialogue must not get in the way of ongoing international sanctions against the communist state.

“We will have to try and gradually resume dialogue, starting with working-level talks,” Chung Eui-yong, the head of the National Security Office, told reporters.

“I believe we must review the possibility as I believe we could resume exchanges in various areas, such as personnel, social, cultural and sports, as long as they do not undermine the international framework of sanctions against North Korea,” he added.

Chung’s remarks came after his visits with political parties earlier Monday, one day after his appointment.

Moon has repeatedly stressed a need to engage the North through dialogue to rid the reclusive nation of its nuclear weapons, though he has also noted the resumption of dialogue will only be possible under right conditions.

Chung reaffirmed Seoul will not reward the North for its provocations, but again stressed the need for dialogue.

“We will sternly deal with any provocation. It is also important to enhance our defense capability to deter and prevent North Korea’s additional provocations,” he said.

Still, he insisted “we must restore dialogue (with North Korea) at an early date for a fundamental reduction of tension.”

During his meeting with Joo Ho-young, the floor leader of the minor conservative Bareun Party, Chung displayed his resolve to root out corruption in the defense industry, long blamed for eroding the country’s military capabilities.

Chung said he plans to create a “defense reform” team under his office, which will mainly deal with corrupt practices in the defense industry, Joo told reporters.

He also noted Moon’s policy stance that Seoul will seek dialogue and negotiations with Pyongyang based on “overwhelming” military capabilities.

bdk@yna.co.kr

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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    May 29, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Mr. Chung should look at the history of past dialogues and their results. It will show that these “dialogues” plays into NK hands wherein the humanitarian aids (food and money) that the SK government will donate as a sign of good will and the path to unification, will only aid in the further militarization of the NK regime. Sunshine policy 2.0 will end up costing SK significant resources and time with zero long term accomplishments. Time for talks is over. NK regime will crumble on its own.

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