Korean, Australian Ministers urge North Korea to resume dialogue
SEOUL - The Foreign and Defence Ministers of South Korea and Australia have urged North Korea to stop actions that heighten military tensions on the Korean Peninsula -- and to resume inter-Korean dialogue and talks with the U.S.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo attended the fourth Republic of Korea-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministers' 2+2 Meeting in Sydney with Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, and Defenc,se Minister, Linda Reynolds. The four officials discussed bilateral co-operation in diplomacy, security and peninsula issues.
At a joint news conference after the meeting, Jeong said: "We express strong concern over North Korea's continued launches of ballistic missiles and the testing of rocket engines in the (North's) Dongchang-ri area in the western sea.
"The Defence Ministers of both countries (South Korea and Australia) strongly urge North Korea to immediately stop actions that increase military tension by responding to the efforts of the (South) Korea-U.S. alliance and international society to solve problems through dialogue."
Kang added, "We will continue close co-operation so that the hard-earned momentum of dialogue can lead to practical progress in the complete denuclearis-zation of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a permanent peace through early resumption of talks between Pyeongyang and Washington."
Payne and Reynolds lauded Seoul's efforts to advance inter-Korean relations and reaffirmed their active support for an inter-Korean military agreement signed on September 19 last year -- an accord meant to ease tensions on the peninsula. www.korea.kr (ATI).