SEOUL – Any talks between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea must be held without preconditions, the government in Seoul said Friday, a day after Kim Jong Un raised the possibility of a summit.
“The government’s stance is that we will talk to North Korea in a way that is free from formalities for candid discussion on all kinds of issues,” Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong Cheol said at a briefing in Seoul. “If North Korea really has a will to improve inter-Korea relations it should hold talks without any preconditions.”
North Korea’s leader in his New Year’s speech flagged the potential for a meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, even as relations remain chilled by his pursuit of a nuclear arsenal. The two have not held any prior summit.
“There is no reason why the highest-level talks cannot be held, depending on the mood and environment,” Kim said in the speech, broadcast on the Internet. “If South Korea truly wants talks and improvement in relations, the suspended high-level contact can resume and talks on specific matters can also be held.”
Kim’s comments are his first public response to Park saying last year she is open to a meeting with North Korea’s leader.