South Korea's unification minister held a new year press conference this morning.
It's his second press conference since taking office last November and also the first since the new U.S. leadership came in last week.
Minister Lee In-young once again vowed to work on resuming inter-Korean talks and securing peace on the Korean peninsula, which will also benefit the frozen Washington-Pyeongyang ties.
For more, we have our Kim Dami on the line.
Dami, tell us more.
Right Mark, Seoul's unification minister Lee In-young has vowed to create the conditions for restarting the peace process on the Korean peninsula through policy coordination with the Biden administration.
And he said he would make other efforts to achieve denuclearization on the peninsula.
To do that, the minister said restoring communication lines between the two Koreas is the first item on the agenda.
That includes possibly holding online meetings for war-separated families and actual reunions as soon as the pandemic calms down.
In pursuit of a win-win situation against the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister also pledged to further develop cooperation in quarantine, health care, climate change and environmental issues.
He said such an improvement in inter-Korean ties will positively affect Washington-Pyeongyang relations.
The minister also said that the Biden administration is taking its approach to the North very seriously and calmly, at what he sees as a crucial moment when close cooperation between Seoul and Washington is more important than ever.
But Lee did point out it will take some time, possibly months, for the new U.S. administration to evaluate sanctions against the regime and come to the negotiating table.
Lee said he will use that time to focus and actively play his role toward peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue by the second half of the year.
Also commenting on the North's recent rare party congress, the minister noted that the regime has left various possibilities open.
He pointed out that the North's leader Kim Jong-un mentioned the return to the spring of three years ago when denuclearization talks kicked off.
That's all I have. Back to you, Mark.