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S. Korea to work hard to keep sanction momentum against N. Korea

2016/11/10 16:34

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will do its utmost to keep the current sanctions and pressure momentum intact through its close cooperation with the incoming U.S. administration led by Republican Donald Trump, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

On Tuesday (local time), U.S. voters chose Donald Trump as their leader for the next four years in a surprise victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Given his controversial remarks and inconsistency during the campaign, his unexpected win is spawning concerns that there could be a policy discontinuity in many areas including North Korea which requires a strong and united front with Washington.

"We will do our best to keep the South Korea-U.S. pressure and sanction policy in place against the North," Cho June-hyuck, foreign ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

"Even during the transition period before the new administration's official inauguration, our government will make efforts on diverse levels to induce the North's denuclearization by maintaining and further advancing the current sanctions and pressure policy direction," he said.

Cho expects that the Trump administration will also strengthen its pressure on the North based on its understanding of the current grave situation on the Korean Peninsula.

"President-elect Trump has expressed his grim understanding that the North's nuclear weapons development could turn into a potential disaster," he said.

"For the next 70 days until the new administration takes office on Jan. 20, talks through diverse channels between South Korea and the U.S. will take place in accordance with our prepared road map with possible provocations by the North in mind," he added.

South Korea has been seeking cooperation from its allies including the U.S. to toughen sanctions against the North in the wake of its strongest-ever nuclear detonation test in September.

Currently, the United Nations Security Council is working on a fresh resolution to penalize the North for its repeated provocations but a difference of views between Washington and Beijing in drawing up the final version have reportedly caused delays.

The spokesman expressed hopes that the Trump government will demand more active involvement by China in tackling the North.

kokobj@yna.co.kr

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