S. Korea’s FM calls on N. Korea to make ‘audacious choice’ for its future

South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin has called for North Korea to immediately halt its provocations and make an "audacious" choice for a better future during a visit to Uzbekistan, Seoul's foreign ministry said Sunday.

Park made the call during a meeting with Uzbek scholars and experts at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent on Saturday, while deploring that the North's focus on its nuclear and missile programs came at the expense of its people's livelihoods.

"Park stressed that he wants North Korea to immediately cease provocations and find a breakthrough for its future through an audacious choice in response to our government's audacious initiative," the ministry said in a press release.

Seoul's initiative is designed to offer massive economic assistance to the North in exchange for denuclearization steps.

The meeting came amid renewed tensions over Pyongyang's botched launch of what it claims to be a satellite-carrying rocket.

Park has been on a trip to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to lay the foundation for strategic cooperation with the Central Asian countries, his office said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency