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(LEAD) Kang, Tillerson reaffirm commitment to ironclad coordination in peacefully resolving N.K. issue

2018/01/03 17:28

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SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States reaffirmed Wednesday that they will continue their joint diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear problem through "ironclad" coordination, the foreign ministry here said.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson held a phone conversation earlier in the day to discuss recent developments related to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year speech, according to the ministry. In the speech, Kim proposed inter-Korean talks on Pyongyang's possible participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games to be held next month.

"The two ministers exchanged views on the New Year speech and agreed to continue joint diplomatic efforts to attain a shared objective of peacefully resolving North Korea's nuclear problem through ironclad coordination," the ministry said.

In response to the North's dialogue overture, South Korea on Tuesday proposed holding high-level inter-Korean talks next Tuesday. Earlier Wednesday, the North reopened a long-disconnected cross-border telephone line with the South.

Kang explained to Tillerson why Seoul is seeking such talks with the North and emphasized the South's push to improve inter-Korean ties and peacefully resolve the nuclear stalemate through the upcoming sports event, the ministry said.

Tillerson agreed to maintain their close coordination to bring the reclusive North onto the road toward its "meaningful denuclearization," according to the ministry.

kokobj@yna.co.kr

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