Park Says Door to Dialogue with N.Korea Still Open

      April 12, 2013 11:38

      President Park Geun-hye on Thursday told lawmakers that the door of communication with North Korea "always remains open" and pledged to continue humanitarian assistance to the renegade country.

      Park was meeting with members of the National Assembly’s Unification and Defense committees over dinner.

      She added the position had been made clear by Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae earlier in the day. "The Koreas should discuss ways of normalizing the [Kaesong Industrial Complex] through dialogue," Ryoo said in a press conference.

      A key Cheong Wa Dae official said the remark constitute an offer to hold talks.

      Park told the lawmakers she is puzzled by North Korea's behavior -- attempting to launch missile and conduct a nuclear test and blocking the inter-Korean industrial park. But she also warned that any North Korean provocation would be met with a swift and firm response and stressed it is time to end the "vicious cycle" of North Korean provocations leading to sanctions and then rewards when the North promises to behave.

      Meanwhile, North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland warned on Thursday that war is just "a matter of time" and said its enemies will be engulfed in a "sea of fire" at the "push of a button."

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