unification minister-Australian ambassador

SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- In a meeting with the Australian ambassador in Seoul, South Korea's Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said Thursday that his ministry will take a flexible approach toward North Korea.

In the meeting with Sam Gerovich, the Australian ambassador, in the government office in central Seoul, Ryoo said the government will take a two-track approach in which pressure and talks will both be used in dealing with North Korea, according to the Unification Ministry that deals with North Korean affairs.

The country will flexibly approach North Korean issues, Ryoo was quoted as saying by the ministry. All necessary measures will be taken to build trust with the North, he said.

The ministry said Gerovich pledged the Australian government's cooperation in the South's North Korean approach, the ministry noted.

The Australian ambassador also represents his country in North Korea and Mongolia.

After shutting down its embassy in Australia in 2008, the North is again planning to reopen its embassy in the capital of Canberra. A ministry official said earlier Thursday that the North Korean plan is being delayed due to rising international tensions over the communist country's February nuclear test.

South Korea's new President Park Geun-hye's policy plan to thaw relations with the North is being delayed as the country's Feb. 12 nuclear device detonation stirred the international community's condemnation and punitive measures.

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