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Seoul welcomes U.S. secretary nominee's suggestion of continued sanctions on N. Korea

All News 16:16 January 12, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministry hailed President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state on Thursday, who called for a continuation of a sanctions-oriented policy towards North Korea.

During a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday in Washington, Rex Tillerson said that "adversaries like Iran and North Korea pose grave threats to the world," publicly mentioning threats made by Pyongyang for the first time since his nomination last month.

Tillerson also suggested that the U.S.' increase pressure on China to push the country to strictly implement sanctions on Pyongyang, adding that Washington could consider taking actions to meet that end.

"Tillerson expressed the intention to continue imposing comprehensive and effective sanctions and pressure on North Korea as a means of countering the country's evolving nuclear and missile capabilities, including measures (to pressure) China," ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said in a press briefing.

"Such remarks suggest the future of the North Korean policy direction of the Trump administration and that it will continue to impose sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang in a bid to have North Korea denuclearize itself," Cho noted.

Seoul will utilize the shared understanding of North Korean nuclear threats and shared policy stances with Washington in order to muster continued efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issues, especially under close collaboration with the Trump administration," the spokesman added.

Also referring to the outgoing Obama administration's release of additional sanctions a day earlier, the spokesman said the actions indicate the current U.S. government's determination to carry on with sanctions into the new administration.


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