Seoul Notes Importance of Further Dialogue With US, North in Wake of New Missile Tests
09:31 GMT 26.03.2021
SEOUL (Sputnik) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday announced the importance of further attempts to continue a dialogue with the United States and North Korea, noting that Seoul can protect itself from any provocations.
According to the leader, South Korea, with an even stronger defence capability and in an inviolable alliance with the US, is ready to ensure security and is capable of repelling any provocation.
"I know that there is great concern among citizens about North Korea's missile test launches. Now South, North Koreas and the United States should try to continue the dialogue. Actions that complicate the dialogue are undesirable. We have the world's best missile capabilities to defend ourselves while adhering to the principle of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula", Moon said during his address on the West Sea Defence Day, as broadcast by the official KTV channel.
The president also recalled that South Korea had approved a record 50.1 trillion won ($44.3 billion) defence budget for 2021.
The statement came as North Korea conducted two missile tests in recent days. The first was carried out on Sunday when two cruise missiles were launched toward the Yellow Sea. The second test was on Thursday, with two ballistic missiles launched toward the Sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčJapan.
The dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang has been stalled since the failed February 2019 summit in Hanoi, during which the United States demanded more decisive steps from North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and Pyongyang accused the US of not responding to the already taken steps. The 2019 October talks in Sweden failed to break the deadlock.
The inter-Korean dialogue is also at a low point following North Korea's decision to cut all lines of communication with Seoul last June.
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