Vice unification minister calls on N. Korea to return to dialogue

Vice Unification Minister Kim Ki-woong called on North Korea on Sunday to halt provocations and return to dialogue, saying Seoul stands by its offers for talks.

Kim made the remark during a memorial service in Imjingak, Paju, just south of the inter-Korean border, held by people whose ancestors are in North Korea, to mark the Lunar New Year.

"The North Korean authorities must immediately halt provocations that threaten the survival of our people and respond to our government's offers for talks," he said.

"The North Korean authorities are completely disregarding their basic duty to take care of their people's livelihoods, people's natural demands to allow families to meet and our government's proposal to jointly create a prosperous future, and are following the wrong path," he added.

The vice minister urged the North to choose the right path, saying all of Seoul's offers, including its proposal for talks on arranging reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, remain valid.

"The door to dialogue remains open," he said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency