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S. Korea set for talks with U.S., China, Russia on N. Korea sanctions: top diplomat

2016/12/06 11:09

VIENNA, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is scheduled to hold a series of high-level bilateral talks with the United States, China and Russia this month to discuss follow-up actions to the latest sanctions resolution by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against North Korea, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said.

"We are planning policy consultation meetings to tune the ways to deal with North Korea's fifth nuclear test and comprehensively discuss how to implement UNSC resolutions and how to assess North Korea's attitude and the possibility of the country's (additional) military provocations," Yun told Yonhap News Agency on Monday in Vienna, Austria, where he attended an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference.

The separate meetings, which will each be held in the U.S., China and Russia, come as the countries start to implement Resolution 2321 adopted last week in response to North Korea's fifth atomic test on Sept. 9.

The resolution focused on drying up North Korea's foreign currency earnings, mainly from its coal exports, in a bid to thwart the country's nuclear and missile programs.

Separately, the top nuclear negotiators of South Korea and the U.S. are to hold talks in Seoul to coordinate their policy on the issue on Dec. 13.

In dealing with North Korea, the military alliance between Seoul and Washington will remain solid under the incoming Trump administration, the foreign minister also stressed.

"In some aspects, (Trump's North Korea policy) is stronger than the Obama administration. ... The reason why Trump has stopped mentioning (direct talks with North Korea) is a signal that the new administration is well aware of the international community's mood focused on punishing North Korea," he noted.

Yun also underlined the important role China needs to play in such efforts, saying, "The South Korea-China relations are in a state of difficulty due to THAAD issues, but China seems to be striving to play a constructive role in the North Korea nuclear issues as a permanent member of the UNSC as we have seen in the process of the recent adoption of the UNSC resolution."

The moves by the international community seem to be mounting pressure on North Korea, Yun said.

"The unprecedentedly powerful UNSC resolution, combined with individual sanctions by Seoul, Washington and Tokyo, will corner North Korea into a situation that it cannot circumvent."