S. Korea vows to seek dialogue with and sanctions on N. Korea

SEOUL-- South Korea's top diplomat reiterated Saturday that Seoul will seek dialogue with North Korea while keeping up pressure and sanctions on Pyongyang over its provocations.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said in a phone conversation with her British counterpart Boris Johnson earlier in the day that Seoul will continue to push for engagement with North Korea, noting that pressure is meant to bring the isolated country back to the negotiating table.

Her comments came as North Korea has remained silent on South Korea's recent offer for two separate talks on military matters and family reunions.

South Korea has proposed holding military talks with North Korea on July 21 at their border village of Panmunjom, and Red Cross talks on Aug. 1 to discuss reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

In June, President Moon Jae-in said that Seoul is willing to hold talks with the North if it does not make additional nuclear and missile provocations. But North Korea has rejected Seoul's offer, claiming that dialogue cannot go together with sanctions.

North Korea is already under the toughest U.N. sanctions ever over its five nuclear tests and its long-range rocket launches.

North Korea has been seeking to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S., viewing its nuclear program as a deterrent against what it claims is Washington's hostile policy against it.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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