South Korea's president seeks talks with North's Kim Jong Un

People gather in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, July 6, 2017, to celebrate the test launch of North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile two days earlier. The North's ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts say the "Hwasong 14" missile, tested Tuesday could reach Alaska if launched at a normal trajectory. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
People dance in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, July 6, 2017, to celebrate the test launch of North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile two days earlier. The North's ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts say the "Hwasong 14" missile, tested Tuesday could reach Alaska if launched at a normal trajectory. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
Soldiers watch fireworks in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, July 6, 2017, to celebrate the test launch of North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile two days earlier. The North's ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts say the "Hwasong 14" missile, tested Tuesday could reach Alaska if launched at a normal trajectory. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a South Korean navy ship fires a missile during a drill in South Korea's East Sea, Thursday, July 6, 2017. South Korean warplanes and navy ships have fired a barrage of missiles into the waters during one-day drills aimed at boosting a readiness against a possible North Korean aggression. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)
In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a South Korean navy ship fires a missile during a drill in South Korea's East Sea, Thursday, July 6, 2017. South Korean warplanes and navy ships have fired a barrage of missiles into the waters during one-day drills aimed at boosting a readiness against a possible North Korean aggression. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook wave as they arrive for the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017. The leaders of the group of 20 meet July 7 and 8. (Carsten Rehder/dpa via AP)
Soldiers gather in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea,Thursday, July 6, 2017, to celebrate the test launch of North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile two days earlier. The North's ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts say the missile tested Tuesday could reach Alaska if launched at a normal trajectory. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
President Donald Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the Northeast Asia Security dinner at the US Consulate General Hamburg, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the Northeast Asia Security dinner at the US Consulate General Hamburg, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's president reiterated he's willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even as he condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test-launch this week as a "reckless" move that incurred punishment by the international community.

During a speech Thursday ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Moon Jae-in also proposed the two Koreas resume reunions of families separated by war, stop hostile activities along their heavily fortified border and cooperate on the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

But it's unclear that North Korea would accept any of Moon's overtures as South Korea is working with the United States and others to get the country punished for its ICBM launch Tuesday. It's not the first time Moon has talked about a summit with Kim, but repeating that idea two days after the North's most successful missile test to date clearly indicates he prefers dialogue to applying more pressure or sanctions on the North.

"The current situation where there is no contact between the relevant officials of the South and the North is highly dangerous," Moon said. "I am ready to meet with Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea at any time at any place, if the conditions are met and if it will provide an opportunity to transform the tension and confrontation on the Korean Peninsula."

President Donald Trump said Thursday he's considering unspecified "pretty severe things" in response to the North's ICBM launch. While a pre-emptive military strike may be among Trump's potential options, analysts say it's one of the unlikeliest because the North Korean retaliation would cause massive casualties in South Korea, particularly in Seoul, which is within easy range of North Korea's artillery.

Moon said he and Kim could put all issues on the negotiating table including the North's nuclear program and the signing of a peace treaty to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War. An armistice that ended the war has yet to be completed with a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula in a technical state of war.

Since taking office in May, Moon has been trying to improve ties with North Korea, but his efforts have produced little, with the North testing a series of newly developed missiles.

"I hope that North Korea will not cross the bridge of no return," Moon said in Thursday's speech. "Whether it will come out to the forum for dialogue, or whether it will kick away this opportunity of dialogue that has been made with difficulty is only a decision that North Korea can make."

The North's ICBM launch has stoked security worries as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts say the reach of the missile tested Tuesday could extend to Alaska.

After the launch, Kim said he would never put his weapons programs up for negotiation unless the United States abandons its hostile policy toward his country. Kim's statement suggested he will order more missile and nuclear tests until North Korea develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire U.S. within its striking distance.

In a show of force against North Korea, South Korea and the United States staged "deep strike" precision missile firing drills on Wednesday. In North Korea's capital, thousands of people rallied Thursday in Kim Il Sung square to celebrate the launch.

You may also interested in

'Dragon Tattoo' follow-up coming in 2018 with new cast

Mar 13, 2017

Lisbeth Salander is coming back to the big screen in 2018, but she won't be played by Rooney Mara or Noomi Rapace

What the devil? Spaniards clang bells in religious festival

Feb 4, 2017

For two days in a tiny Spanish village, the devil ceases to be enemy No. 1 for a few devout Catholics

57-nation Islamic body calls US travel ban a 'grave concern'

Jan 30, 2017

Islamic organization says it has 'grave concern' over Trump banning travelers from 7 Muslim-majority countries

People also read these

'Dragon Tattoo' follow-up coming in 2018 with new cast

Mar 13, 2017

Lisbeth Salander is coming back to the big screen in 2018, but she won't be played by Rooney Mara or Noomi Rapace

What the devil? Spaniards clang bells in religious festival

Feb 4, 2017

For two days in a tiny Spanish village, the devil ceases to be enemy No. 1 for a few devout Catholics

57-nation Islamic body calls US travel ban a 'grave concern'

Jan 30, 2017

Islamic organization says it has 'grave concern' over Trump banning travelers from 7 Muslim-majority countries

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH