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U.S. will help release S. Korean prisoners in N. Korea as well: envoy

All News 17:08 June 21, 2017

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- The United States will do its best to help South Korea win the release of its citizens detained in North Korea, the acting U.S. ambassador to Seoul said Wednesday in a meeting with the host country's new foreign minister.

"We will do our best to facilitate the return of South Korean prisoners as well," Charge d'Affaires Marc Kannper told Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha during their first official talks since she took office earlier this week. The chief commander of United States Forces Korea Gen. Vincent Brooks also joined the meeting.

The acting ambassador said the U.S. will do its best to free American as well as South Korean detainees in the North, referring to three U.S. citizens and six South Korean nationals held by Pyongyang.

Knapper also conveyed U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's congratulations on Kang's inauguration, saying that "he is looking forward as well to hearing your voice, but also seeing you in person in Washington."

The two countries are currently arranging the first phone conversation as well as face-to-face talks between Kang and Tillerson.

Kang reaffirmed the strong alliance between the countries, telling Brooks that "we greatly depend on your voice and support ... to ensure that the alliance is strong and becomes even stronger."

The alliance is "the foundation of our foreign and security policy and I will ensure you I will do my very vest to make sure that the alliance is on solid footing," she stressed.

U.S. will help release S. Korean prisoners in N. Korea as well: envoy - 1

pbr@yna.co.kr
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