There "will not be a war again on the Korean Peninsula", South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has said.
Amid ongoing tensions between North Korea and the United States, Moon showed a willingness to take a more diplomatic route in an address on Thursday.
He said he would consider sending a special envoy to North Korea for talks if the North stops its missile and nuclear tests.
"The people worked together to rebuild the country from the Korean War, and we cannot lose everything again because of a war," Moon said in a nationally televised news conference.
"I can confidently say there will not be a war again on the Korean Peninsula."
It follows heated rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Kim Jong-un had suggested Pyongyang was preparing to fire missiles towards the US island territory of Guam, prompting Mr Trump to say that US military solutions are "locked and loaded" if the North chose to act "unwisely".
North Korea has since indicated it has pulled back from ordering a strike, something Mr Trump said was "very wise".
Moon, who was elected in May, said: "A dialogue between South and North Korea must resume. But we don't need to be impatient.
"I think lots of effort and time could be necessary to overcome a decade of severed ties and to reopen a dialogue."
Moon said Washington and Seoul are closely communicating over the North Korean nuclear problem and share the view that strong sanctions and pressure are needed against Pyongyang to stop its provocations and force it into negotiations.