Rhee In-je told The Associated Press and selected news outlets Thursday in Davos, Switzerland, that President-elect Park Geun-hye is urging North Korea to refrain from conducting a nuclear test that could only worsen the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. On Thursday, North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission declared plans to conduct a nuclear test and more rocket launches.
But Rhee says Park's administration wants to leave the window open for constructive dialogue and to offer Pyongyang medical and food aid.
Relations between the two Koreas plummeted during the administration of current President Lee Myung-bak. The new South Korean president takes office next month.