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ROK president appeals for resuming inter-Korean dialogues

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak today appealed for resumption of inter-Korean dialogues.

At a ceremony marking the 1919 independence uprising against Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in Seoul, Lee said "The doors to unconditional (inter-Korean) dialogue remain wide open. The South (Korea) and the North(the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK) must talk at the earliest date possible."

Lee said denuclearization is the shortcut for DPRK to become a member of the international community and achieve a rapid development.

"What really protects the North (DPRK) is not nuclear weapons or missiles, but its cooperation with South Korea and cooperation with the international community," Lee said.

The inter-Korean ties have been greatly deteriorated since Lee adopted a hardline policy towards DPRK in February last year. The governmental dialogues between Seoul and Pyongyang have been suspended since then.

Lee also called South Koreans to join efforts to overcome the current economic crisis.

"We must not only overcome this crisis before anyone else, but we must also turn this crisis into an opportunity to reform and move forward various sectors of our society," he added.


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