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S. Korea pledges coordination with U.S. over potential inter-Korean talks

2018/01/02 17:39

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SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will continue its "watertight" coordination with the United States as it takes steps to resume dialogue with North Korea, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"While keeping close tabs on North Korea's movements including those regarding (leader Kim Jong-un's) New Year address, South Korea and the U.S. will continue their watertight coordination," Noh Kyu-duk, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokesman, said in a press briefing.

The allies have been closely discussing the whole issue concerning North Korea's nuclear development under the common purpose of achieving its denuclearization in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, the spokesman noted.

A few hours earlier, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon proposed to North Korea that they hold high-level dialogue next week to discuss its participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics to be hosted by the South next month.

The spokesman added that Seoul diplomatically collaborated with its neighboring countries in connection with the dialogue offer.

The proposal was Seoul's response to the North Korean leader's New Year message that the regime is open to dialogue with Seoul over the Olympics participation issue.

Seoul has been striving to win North Korea's participation in the Olympics as part of efforts, but critics voice concerns that South Korea's unilateral engagement with the North would compromise its collaboration with Washington and Tokyo against North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"The foreign ministry plans to make various diplomatic efforts to pave the way for progress in denuclearizing North Korea as well as improving inter-Korean relations by proactively utilizing the momentum from North Korea's possible participation in the Olympics and possible resumption of inter-Korean talks," Noh said.

pbr@yna.co.kr

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