South Korea's finance chief Hong Nam-ki says Seoul will quietly prepare for inter-Korean projects to carry them out when the time is right.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington on Friday, he said the latest South Korea-U.S. summit has sparked momentum to get Pyeongyang-Washington talks going again.
"I believe there needs to be an easing or removal of sanctions on North Korea, in order for inter-Korean economic cooperation to begin in earnest. We will make preparations internally and quietly with other relevant ministries."
This comes after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday, prior to his sit down with President Moon Jae-in, that the reopening of an inter-Korean industrial complex and the resumption of tours to Mount Geumgangsan can take place "at the right time" -- but now's not the case.
South Korea had been seeking to get inter-Korean projects rolling, but those plans fell through after the February North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi broke down without an agreement.
On the local economy, Minister Hong vowed to find ways to breathe new life into slowing industries and devise support measures.
Recently, the finance ministry said the country is facing more headwinds due to external factors, such as a slowing global economy, sluggish semiconductor demand, as well as uncertainties regarding the U.S.-China trade spat.
"We will effectively use the extra budget to achieve the country's growth target of 2.6 percent for this year."
On Saturday, Hong will meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to seek cooperation on pending issues, such as potential U.S. tariffs on South Korean auto imports, and an extension of U.S. waivers for the country's import of Iranian oil.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.