Amid heated rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea, the Unification Ministry has repeatedly urged Pyongyang to immediately stop raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.    
 
Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun said in a news briefing on Friday that the government will take all necessary measures to ease tensions and maintain peace on the peninsula.
  
He stressed that while keeping the door for cross-border dialogue open, Seoul as a key concerned party will make multidirectional efforts in order to fundamentally resolve the current North Korean problem.
 
The remarks came after the North threatened to fire its missiles to strike areas surrounding the U.S. territory of Guam.
  
Regarding a North Korean’s defection via an island off the west coast early Friday morning, the spokesman said that eleven North Koreans have defected to South Korea by directly crossing the inter-Korean border this year, up from seven last year.