S. Korea anticipates 'constructive' talks between US, DPRK



South Korea's unification ministry on Monday expressed hope of a breakthrough in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) dispute with the United States as Pyongyang showed a willingness to talk with Washington.

Baik Tae-hyun, unification ministry spokesman, told a routine press briefing that South Korea anticipated the start of constructive talks between Pyongyang and Washington through an appropriate opportunity.

The comment came a day after the high-ranking DPRK delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics said Pyongyang had enough willingness to hold talks with Washington.

The willingness was shown during a closed-door meeting between the DPRK delegation and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in PyeongChang where the closing ceremony was held Sunday night.

Ivanka Trump (L to R), US President Donald Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Yong Chol of the DPRK delegation attend the closing ceremony of Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, PyeongChang, South Korea, February 25, 2018.

The DPRK delegation, led by Kim Yong Chol, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, came via land route to South Korea Sunday for a three-day visit.

Also included in the delegation were Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, and six other support staff.

Regarding schedules for the DPRK delegation during its stay in South Korea, the spokesman said he had nothing to tell yet.

The White House has said any talks with the DPRK must lead to an end to its nuclear program, and that its sanctions on the DPRK would continue.

Washington announced on Friday it was imposing its largest package of sanctions to pressure DPRK to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

DPRK on Sunday condemned the latest round of sanctions imposed by the United States, accusing it of trying to undermine an improvement in inter-Korean relations during the Winter Olympics, state media said in a statement.

The DPRK delegation and South Korean officials will gather on the DPRK side of the Panmunjom truce village on Tuesday to discuss Pyongyang's attendance at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics.