SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- The office of President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday reports of North Korea continuing its nuclear activity underline the urgency of resuming dialogue with it.
Earlier in the day, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its annual report the secretive nation seems to have restarted the operation of a reactor at its longstanding main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang.
"The situations of North Korea continuing the escalation of its nuclear capabilities prove it is urgent to engage the North (in negotiations) to resolve the problem," a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters.
South Korea and the United States are "proactively seeking dialogue" with North Korea on the basis of a shared perception on the current situations, the official added.
The allies have been constantly monitoring North Korea's nuclear and missile activities, according to the official who requested anonymity as usual during a background briefing.
Asked about sharp hikes in defense budgets under the Moon administration, the official said a robust defense posture and increases in related spending are preconditions for the denuclearization of the peninsula and establishment of peace.