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N. Korean leader's speech 'meaningful': Seoul

2015/01/01 18:52

SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification minister said Thursday he hopes that the two Koreas will soon open a dialogue regardless of its format, hours after the North's top leader extended an olive branch in his New Year's address.

The unification minister, Ryoo Kihl-jae, described North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's televised speech as "meaningful" in that it included the expression of his will for improved ties between the two Koreas.

In his speech, Kim said even the "highest-level dialogue," apparently meaning summit talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, is possible if appropriate conditions are created.

"The government takes meaningfully that Kim showed an advanced attitude through the new year address today toward South-North dialogue and exchange," Ryoo said in a statement.

He stressed that Seoul and Pyongyang are in need of "substantive and candid" discussions on all pending issues such as the possibility of a summit of top leaders and reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

"With that position in mind, our government hopes for dialogue between the South and North Korean authorities in the near future without limits on format," he said.

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