S Korea seeks dialogue with DPRK

Added On January 15, 2021

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says his government can hold dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) anytime, anywhere and even in a contactless way. Moon said on Monday in a nationally televised New Year's speech, quote "Our willingness to meet (with the DPRK) at any time and any place and to hold dialogue even in a contactless way has been unchanged." He says the main power of the Korean Peninsula peace process is dialogue, coexistence and cooperation, hoping to open a way for peace and coexistence in the process of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. He proposed to the DPRK joining a regional dialogue for anti-epidemic, healthcare cooperation in Asia, saying inter-Korean cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak could expand into dealing with other safety issues. His government will make its last effort to achieve a great shift in dialogues between the DPRK and the United States and between South Korea and the DPRK, in accordance with the launch of the U.S. Biden administration later this month. Moon was sworn in as president in May 2017, and his five-year presidency is left less than one and a half years. Denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been stalled since the second DPRK-U.S. summit ended without agreement in February 2019. Regarding domestic issues, Moon vowed to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all of the country's population free of charge according to priorities, saying the vaccination campaign can start next month. In the latest tally, South Korea reported a total of 69,114 COVID-19 cases and 1,140 deaths out of the country's 52 million population.