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S. Korean deputy national security adviser in U.S. for talks about pressuring N. Korea

All News 04:12 July 27, 2016

By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's deputy national security adviser, Cho Tae-yong, arrived in Washington on Tuesday for talks with U.S. officials about how better to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

Cho is scheduled to meet with Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Wednesday for the third round of high-level strategic talks on North Korea that were established under an agreement President Park Geun-hye reached with U.S. President Barack Obama at their summit in October.

"Having the same objective that we need to make sure to change North Korea's strategic calculus, South Korea and the U.S. have constantly been checking on specific strategies about how to realize the objective, and the high-level strategic talks are also part of such efforts," Cho told Yonhap News Agency upon arrival at the airport.

In this week's talks, the two countries will check what progress has been made in international efforts to sanction and pressure the North while at the same time trying to identify areas where more efforts are necessary, Cho said.

Just hours before Cho's arrival, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho threatened that the communist nation could conduct yet another nuclear test depending on the "U.S.' attitude," as he spoke to reporters in Laos on the sidelines of a regional security forum.

"North Korea always tries to define the North Korean nuclear issue as a question between the U.S. and North Korea, but that is never true. North Korea's nuclear development is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, which means that the international community is on one side and North Korea is on the other," Cho said.

"This is an issue between the entire international community and North Korea, not a matter between the U.S. and the North," he said.

Cho also said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's "byeongjin" policy of seeking nuclear and economic development at the same time can never be successful.

"If North Korea cares about its people, it should take the path of nuclear abandonment at an early date," Cho said. That will open the way for cooperation with us and the international community, including economic development."

Cho also plans to hold meetings with White House officials and scholars before leaving for home on Thursday.


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