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Seoul reaffirms call on Pyongyang for dialogue


14:17, April 12, 2013

SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Friday reaffirmed its call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to come to the dialogue table, seeking an about-face on the political deadlock with its northern neighbor.

"We effectively proposed a dialogue (to the DPRK) yesterday. President also mentioned it with the same intent yesterday evening, " Kim Hyung-seok, spokesman of the Ministry of Unification told reporters at a press briefing.

Kim noted that it was not a formal dialogue suggestion as there was no time and place arranged in advance with the DPRK, but he stressed that it was an effective dialogue proposal to Pyongyang.

On Thursday, Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae issued a formal statement, calling on Pyongyang to "come to the dialogue table" to discuss ways of normalizing operations of the joint industrial park at the DPRK's border town of Kaesong.

On the same day, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said in a dinner meeting with ruling party lawmakers that the administration will push for dialogue with the DPRK, according to participants at the meeting cited by Yonhap News Agency.

The series of comments were an about-turn from the Seoul's hard- line stance. Minister Ryoo told lawmakers on Monday that "now is not the stage" to end the political deadlock through dialogue.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Pyongyang to end its "belligerent approach", saying that the United States will continue to try to work to resolve the DPRK issues "diplomatically ".

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