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U.S. reluctant to comment on inter-Korean dialogue

All News 10:29 January 04, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. State Department has made no particular comments on the latest reopening of a hotline between the two Koreas, just saying inter-Korean dialogue and North Korea's nuclear program cannot be handled separately, a U.S. broadcaster reported Thursday.

"We continue to remain in close contact with (South Korea) about a unified response to North Korea," Radio Free Asia quoted Katina Adams, a spokeswoman for the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, as saying when asked to comment on the resumption of the inter-Korean hotline the previous day.

Adams underlined inter-Korean relations cannot advance separately from resolving North Korea's nuclear program as affirmed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to the broadcaster.

Moon said during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, "The improvement in inter-Korean relations may not go a separate way from (efforts) to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, so I ask the foreign ministry to closely consult with our allies and the international community so that we may push for an improvement in inter-Korean relationship and the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue at the same time."

The spokeswoman's remarks are in line with those of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who said Tuesday, "We won't take any of the talks (between the two Koreas) seriously if they don't do something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea."

A South Korean official checks out a cross-border hotline with North Korea at the liaison office at the truce village of Panmunjom on Jan. 3, 2018. (Yonhap)


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