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'No daylight' between U.S., S. Korea on efforts to improve inter-Korean ties

All Headlines 07:56 January 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- Inter-Korean talks could help bring North Korea back to genuine denuclearization talks, the State Department said Wednesday, stressing there is "no daylight" between Seoul and Washington on efforts to improve inter-Korean ties.

Speculation has grown recently that Seoul and Washington may be out of sync over how to deal with North Korea, with the U.S. trying to tighten sanctions and the South seeking dialogue with the communist nation.

On Tuesday, Amb. Sung Kim, special representative for North Korea policy, told a House committee briefing that he hopes inter-Korean dialogue will support denuclearization efforts. The remark was seen by some as a sign that the U.S. is concerned about Seoul's conciliatory moves.

"There is no daylight between Seoul and Washington on efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. We have long welcomed ROK efforts to improve inter-Korean relations through constructive dialogue, and we urge the DPRK to respond positively to President Park's tireless efforts to pursue such dialogue," a State Department representative said.

ROK and DPRK refers to South and North Korea, respectively.

"Progress in inter-Korean dialogue could play an important role in bringing North Korea back to authentic and credible denuclearization negotiations," the official said on condition of anonymity in response to a Yonhap News Agency question.

The six-party talks on the North's nuclear program have been stalled since the last session in late 2008.

Pyongyang has called for resuming the talks without preconditions, but the U.S. and the South have demanded the North first take concrete steps demonstrating its denuclearization commitments to ensure that new negotiations would be authentic and credible.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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