By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday insisted that more inter-Korean cooperation was imperative for easing tensions in the peninsula, according to local media.
At his new year news conference in Seoul, Moon said that expanding inter-Korean cooperation could garner international support for easing sanctions on North Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported.
"If [we] broaden cooperative ties between South and North to the maximum, it would not only facilitate North Korea-U.S. dialogue but also help win international support in connection with some exemptions or exceptions to sanctions on North Korea," Moon said.
He added that Seoul will not sit back to wait for Pyongyang-Washington engagements to bear fruit.
However, Moon said that Washington also needs to present "new ideas" to break the stalemate in denuclearization talks in close cooperation with Seoul.
Calling for focus on inter-Korean projects not subject to UN sanctions, Moon urged international community to take steps including sanctions relief if Pyongyang takes "substantive" denuclearization measures.
He went on to say that Seoul's push for joint ventures with Pyongyang made little progress due to UN sanctions.
The statement from Moon came after he reiterated his invitation to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un early this month to visit Seoul.
The South Korean president also praised China’s role in denuclearization of Korean peninsula.
"Actually, China has provided an awful lot of help until now, and I am grateful [to China] for it," Xinhua News quoted Moon as saying.