Progress in denuclearization, the establishment of peace and the restoration of cross-border exchanges must all work in tandem in order to advance inter-Korean relations, the unification minister has said.
Speaking to reporters before embarking on a European tour Wednesday, Unification Minister Lee In-young stressed that all involved parties must seek simultaneous and step-by-step corresponding measures through dialogue. He then urged North Korea to return to negotiations.
Asked on President Moon Jae-in's proposal to declare a formal end to the Korean War, Lee said it is a step free from economical, military or political burden that could help withdraw hostilities, build trust and move towards peace and cooperation.
As for whether Seoul intentionally refrained from classifying North Korea's recent hypersonic missile test as a "provocation," the minister said the government responded appropriately by swiftly and clearly expressing regret.
Lee is scheduled to visit Belgium, Sweden and Germany through October 4, where he plans to seek cooperation on Seoul's peace process.