Unification Minister: Sanctions on N. Korea Remain Top Priority

Write : 2016-06-28 09:29:12 Update : 2016-06-28 11:28:14

Unification Minister: Sanctions on N. Korea Remain Top Priority

Seoul's Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said the government will focus on putting pressure on North Korea for the time being, rather than accepting the regime’s offer of dialogue.

In a report to the National Assembly's foreign affairs and unification committee on Monday, Hong said talks for the sake of talks will only give the North time and excuse to develop nuclear weapons, reiterating Seoul’s stance that denuclearization and tangible changes from Pyongyang remain the top priority. 

Referring to a remark by North Korean Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director for North American affairs Choe Son-hui during the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue(NEACD) in Beijing last week, Hong said the North officially proclaimed the demise of the suspended six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear issue.

The minister said it is difficult to draw a meaningful denuclearization discussion even if the talks resume under the current condition.

Hong also said he believes the international sanctions on the North are paying off, noting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un conceded during the seventh congress of the ruling Worker’s Party in May that it is difficult to develop the economy due to the sanctions. 

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