SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol said Friday his administration will respond firmly to North Korea's provocations but always leave the door open to dialogue.
Yoon made the remarks in a congratulatory address for a peace forum co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the unification ministry in Seoul.
"We will respond strictly and firmly together with the international community to North Korea's provocative actions that threaten people's lives and safety, and freedom and peace, in line with principles," he said in the remarks read by senior presidential secretary for communication Choi Young-bum. "However, we will always leave the door open to dialogue."
Yoon outlined his administration's efforts to expand cooperation with allies and friendly nations, including through last month's South Korea-U.S. summit in Seoul and his participation in a NATO summit in Spain next week.
In particular, he noted plans to seek greater cooperation on economic issues, such as in nuclear power and renewable energy, through bilateral summits on the sidelines of the NATO gathering.
"We will continue to strengthen cooperation with key friendly nations, such as the United States and Japan," the president said. "With China as well, we will develop the mutually beneficial cooperative relationship in the spirit of mutual respect."
Yoon listed a host of challenges facing the country, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate, food and energy crises.
"We must wisely overcome the multiple crises we are facing. We must achieve both growth and prosperity while defending the values of a liberal democracy and market economy," he said.
Yoon noted that Saturday will mark 72 years since the Korean War broke out.
"In order to not repeat the tragic history, we will need to be backed up by solid security and bold diplomacy," he said.