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U.S. State Department expresses support for five-party talks

All News 07:59 January 28, 2016

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. State Department expressed support Wednesday for South Korean President Park Geun-hye's proposal to hold five-party nuclear talks excluding North Korea.

"Five-party talks are a chance for those of us who agree on North Korea's behavior and the need to persuade it or get it to change its ways," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said at a regular press briefing.

"Occasionally we do need to get together and talk about this. We do this all the time. We consult bilaterally, multilaterally with the other members of that mechanism on ways to confront and to get North Korea to change its ways so we would support the dialogue going forward," he said.

President Park made the suggestion Friday, raising questions about the effectiveness of the stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear program and calling for "creative approaches" to deal with the problem.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul has already expressed support for the proposal, saying it would be "a useful step in our ongoing efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula through credible and authentic negotiations."

But Russia reacted negatively to it, saying it's not a good idea to try to isolate the North.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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