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S. Korea, U.S. share the no-dialogue approach over N. Korean nukes: Seoul

All News 16:52 October 06, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the U.S. both agree dialogue with North Korea is not an effective tool to denuclearize the communist country, the foreign ministry here said Thursday, ruling out any possibility of talks with Pyongyang.

"In addition to its series of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, North Korea has declared on various occasions that nuclear armament is its national policy and vowed to step up its nuclear weapons program," Cho June-hyuck, spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a press briefing. "Through such remarks, it made clear that the country is not considering denuclearization."

Against this backdrop, any hasty mentions of talks with North Korea would weaken the international community's sanctions efforts, the spokesman pointed out.

"It will put North Korea's denuclearization further away and eventually only give it more time for North Korea to upgrade its nuclear capability," Cho stressed.

He said the governments of South Korea and the U.S. both share the understanding and are working together to utilize strong sanctions and pressures to force Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons.

The stance comes as the North conducted its fifth nuke test on Sept. 9 despite the most stringent-ever sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This test, the strongest nuclear detonation carried out by the North, came just eight months after Pyongyang's fourth test in January.

On the other hand, there have been suggestions to open dialogue with North Korea over its nuclear weapons development.

In Washington on Tuesday, Robert Gallucci, who negotiated a 1994 nuclear freeze deal with Pyongyang, suggested that the next U.S. president should consider negotiations a primary option for resolving the North Korean nuclear standoff, although offering key concessions should be avoided in the talks.

Related to the close cooperation between Seoul and Washington, the ministry said U.S. envoy to the U.N. Samantha Power is expected to arrive in Seoul for a four-day visit to discuss collaboration between the allies over the North Korean nuclear issue, the spokesman added.

"The purpose of Ambassador Samantha Power's visit to South Korea is to discuss ways to tighten collaboration between South Korea and the U.S. at the U.N. level over the North Korean nuclear issue and its human rights affairs," the official said.


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