South Korean FM says 'flexibility' will be needed in discussions with North Korea

강경화 "남북정상회담, 포괄적 대화 위해 의제는 융통성있게"

While stating South Korea and the U.S. will continue to share the goal of a complete denuclearization of the North, Seoul's top diplomat stressed that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary.
That they are still gauging how far the regime is willing to go.
Kwon Jang-ho shares with us her remarks.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha stressed that flexibility will be required to have a frank and comprehensive discussion with North Korea during the upcoming inter-Korean and Pyongyang-Washington summits.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, however, Kang explained denuclearization remains the primary objective.

"We are making preparations to make the denuclearization of North Korea an important topic at the South-North Korea summit, and the North Korea-U.S. summit. We expect more specific details to be reached in our preparatory negotiations."

To the surprise of the international community, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told South Korean envoys and Chinese President Xi Jinping that he is open to discussing denuclearization.

She also added that during the preparatory steps, there will also be discussions with Washington on the process and timeframe over how to dismantle the regime's nuclear programme.

However there has also been calls for North Korea's human rights abuses to be tackled at the upcoming summits.
Earlier in March the United Nations Human Rights Council renewed a resolution condemning the regime's human rights situation, which Pyongyang has denounced.
Although Seoul's foreign minister said that the issue remains a key concern for South Korea, she remained cagey over whether it would be brought up in the upcoming talks.

"We have continued to cooperate with the international community on North Korea's poor human rights record, and have taken part at the UN to try and improve the situation. South Korea also has its own North Korea human rights act. But on whether we should include this issue at the upcoming summit, for our government I think more preparation is needed."

Kang also said that South Korea is continuing to cooperate with all related nations, such as China and Japan, and announced that a trilateral meeting between the three sides is being planned for May.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.

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