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People's Daily Online

S.Korea to put sanctions, pressure ahead of dialogue with DPRK: minister

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 18:49, May 11, 2016

SEOUL, May 11 -- South Korea will put sanctions and pressure ahead of dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said on Wednesday.

For now, sanctions and pressures are needed more against DPRK, Hong told a forum organized by the Korea Future Foundation.

"Now is not the right time for talks," he said.

Hong made the remarks two days after DPRK closed its four-day 7th congress of the Workers' Party of Korea in 36 years on Monday.

DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, who was appointed as the party's chairman in the congress, proposed inter-Korean military dialogue between the two sides to resolve bilateral issues.

"I don't mean we rule out talks. There's a time for talks," the minister said, adding that inter-Korean dialogue at a time like now will only allow DPRK to gain time.

"South Korea will go for dialogue if it thinks that's necessary, but (for now) it will concentrate on applying pressure to denuclearize North Korea," he said.

Earlier in the day, Unification Ministry's Spokesman Jeong Joon-hee also dismissed the possibility of any dialogue with DPRK.

"It does not constitute a proposal toward South Korea," said Jeong during a press briefing.

He said South Korea noticed Kim's military talk offers, but they were only an expression of DPRK's perception of the current reality and its position on it.

Jeong said if DPRK makes an official proposal for talks, Seoul will make a decision to accept or reject it based on thorough examination.

He said for now, Seoul views any talk offers as a propaganda ploy without sincerity.

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