Seoul seeks n-talks minus Pyongyang

Seoul, Jan 22 (IANS) South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Friday that six-party talks, which exclude North Korea, should be sought to restart the dialogue channel to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

Park made the remarks when she was briefed by the foreign, unification and defence ministries about their 2016 policy directions, Xinhua reported.

“South Korea should seek various and creative approaches such as attempting five-way talks that exclude North Korea as well as six-party talks,” Park said.

The president said though the six-party talks were effective as a tool in the past to resolve the nuclear issue, the effectiveness is currently called into question as the talks have not been held for long and helped little denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

The six-party talks to denuclearise the peninsula, involving South Korea, North Korea, China, the US, Japan and Russia, were halted since late 2008.

Park stressed the importance of stronger sanctions against Pyongyang over its claim on January 6 that it had tested its first hydrogen bomb.

Park instructed the officials to make all-out diplomatic efforts to make strong and effective sanctions against Pyongyang drawn up at the UN Security Council and bilateral and multilateral sanctions taken in addition to the UN resolution.

It would be important to create an environment that can force change in North Korea, Park noted.

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