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S. Korea to create environment for denuclearization talks

2017/10/12 11:49

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SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will accelerate its "leading" efforts to create an environment for the resumption of talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, the country's top diplomat said Thursday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that her ministry will work hard to encourage China and Russia to use their leverage on the North in bringing it out to the negotiating table.

"We will beef up our leading role to generate an environment in which denuclearization talks can resume," Kang told lawmakers during a parliamentary audit. "In this process, we will actively push to induce the influence that China and Russia have over the North."

   Her renewed emphasis on talks with the North came despite rising tensions prompted by the North's continued provocations and a recent war of words between the leaders of the North and the U.S.

South Korea has been saying that it will seek to resolve the North's nuclear issue not just through sanctions and pressure but also through diplomatic efforts, including direct talks.

In a speech in Berlin in July, President Moon Jae-in underlined the importance of dialogue to address the North's nuclear issue and said that his government will work to establish a permanent peace regime on the peninsula.

Kang vowed to keep the "moment" strong for the president's policy direction on the North and continue the efforts to establish a peace regime here in tandem with progress in denuclearization efforts.