"If we can hold talks with North Korea, we are willing to have talks with the North over issues of concerns to it in an open-minded manner and without conditions. In that sense, we will make efforts to restore strained inter-Korean relations and make better ties to help resolve North Korea's nuclear problem," Cho said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
Until now, Seoul's official stance was that dialogue with the North could be set up if Pyongyang suspended its nuclear and missile tests.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has deteriorated significantly this year due to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. In late November, North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, which, as Pyongyang said, was capable of hitting any part of the US mainland.