South Korea ready for talks with North Korea

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Beijing, Feb.21 (ANI): South Korea is hopeful of revival of its contacts with North Korea through dialogue.

After recent military talks between Seoul and Pyongyang, South Korea President Lee Myung-bak said on Sunday that they are ready for talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to promote a real change in ties, The China Daily reports.

During his interaction with reporters, he said, he would like to give North Korea "the message that we are always open to talks and they have a good chance this year."

South Korea also announced plans to hold talks on nuclear deterrence measures with Washington next month.

The meeting will aim to strengthen Washington Seoul ties against threats posed by North Korea's nuclear program, according to a Yonhap news agency report.

Meanwhile, South Korea is also actively seeking to take North Korea's uranium enrichment program to an expert-level meeting within the United Nations Security Council on February 23, for possible further sanctions.

The China Daily reports that although Lee is ready for talks, "Seoul's level of tolerance of a further provocation from Pyongyang appears to be very low", said Piao Jianyi, Director of the Center of Korean Peninsula Studies.

He said that South Korea's decision to refer the issue to the UN Security Council would complicate matters.

He further added that even the United States played down speculation of another missile launch by North Korea, according to recent remarks by US Navy Admiral Robert Willard.Washington, in comparison (with Seoul), has taken a more flexible attitude toward the DPRK, seeking opportunities such as food aid to engage the country," Piao said. (ANI)

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