Dialogue and cooperation with Pyeongyang are the only ways to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula, and now is the right moment to reboot the peace process.
South Korea's unification minister Lee In-young said this on Tuesday at the new year's policy briefing attended by foreign officials based in Seoul, including Andrey Kulik, the Russian ambassador; Chris Green, the U.S. Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and eight international organizations.
"The South Korean government would like to underline that dialogue and cooperation are the only ways to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula while preparing for the possibility of further action by the North."
He added that now is the time to reignite the peace process, pointing out concerns that inter-Korean ties could revert to the tension and stalemates of the past.
The minister also noted the possibility that uncertainties could grow in the latter half of the year.
With such possibilities in mind, Lee pledged to lay the foundation for unshakable peace with measures including a declaration to end end of Korean War and cooperation on humanitarian aid for the North.
That's also in line with what he said the same day at the 2022 Korea Peace Forum.
There, Lee reiterated that an end-of-war declaration would be a useful catalyst to move the frozen denuclearization talks forward, saying it's appropriate for the North to return to dialogue and cooperation instead of choosing missile launches.
The minister further voiced hope of moving forward together even through small cooperative projects in practical fields such as healthcare, the environment and natural disasters.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.