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U.S. cautious toward S. Korea's proposal for inter-Korean talks

2017/07/17 23:17

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By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Monday expressed a cautious attitude toward South Korea's proposal for rare inter-Korean talks.

Seoul proposed military talks on Friday and Red Cross talks on Aug. 1 to discuss ways to ease tensions along their shared border and resume reunions of families separated in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The offer came amid renewed tensions over the North's first launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

"We refer you to the ROK (Republic of Korea) government for comment," Katina Adams, a State Department spokesperson, said in response to a query from Yonhap about whether Washington views the proposal as appropriate in the wake of the latest provocation.

The South Korean government under liberal President Moon Jae-in has stressed the need to reopen dialogue with the communist neighbor while also keeping sanctions in place.

But U.S. President Donald Trump has mostly focused his efforts on pressuring China to do more to rein in the North.

Washington has also been pushing to impose fresh sanctions on Pyongyang by drawing up a U.N. Security Council resolution and targeting foreign firms doing business with the North.