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S. Korea ready to talk with DPRK

03-01-2011 18:54 BJT

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On the second day of annual joint military drills with the United States, South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, says his country is ready to talk to its northern neighbour with an "open mind".

Wearing traditional clothes, Lee Myung-bak delivered his speech in a ceremony marking Korea's independence movement against Japan's colonial rule.

He says Korean nation must not repeat dark history, and South Korea is ready to talk to the DPRK.

Lee Myung-bak, South Korean president, said, "In this age when the world is changing rapidly, the Korean nation cannot afford to lag behind the times, repeating the dark happenings of yesterday. Now is the opportune time to open a new kind of future on the Korean Peninsula. The Republic is ready to engage in dialogue with the North anytime with an open mind."

Lee also stressed such talks have a premise.

Lee Myung-bak, South Korean president, said, "The North should step forward for serious dialogue and cooperation and refrain from developing nuclear weapons and missiles. It has to take responsible measures regarding its armed provocation and get on the path of genuine reconciliation and cooperation."

He referred to the deaths of 46 sailors in a torpedo attack last year in which the DPRK denied being involved, and a shelling attack on a border island that killed four.

However, the DPRK viewed the on-going annual military drills between South Korea and the US as a provocation.

The drill went ahead despite the DPRK's warning that it could spark a nuclear war on the peninsula.

The 11-day joint maneuvers will see more than 200-thousand troops taking part. The first will last until March 10th, while the second will run through to the end of April.

According to the Combined Forces Command, the exercises focus on raising the allies' ability to defend against small, sudden attacks by the DPRK.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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