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(LEAD) Moon, Trump agree inter-Korean dialogue may lead to denuclearization talks

All News 23:49 January 10, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, additional information from 4th para)

SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed the resumption of talks between South Korea and North Korea this week, saying his country too may hold dialogue with the communist state when the timing and conditions are right.

In a telephone conversation with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, the U.S. leader also noted the possibility of inter-Korean dialogue leading to the start of negotiations between his country and North Korea on ending the latter's nuclear ambition.

"After noting that South-North Korea talks may go beyond North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Games and eventually lead to talks between the U.S. and North Korea for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the two leaders agreed to closely consult on the direction of talks between the South and North Korea in the future," the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

The Moon-Trump talks, the second of their kind in less than a week, came one day after the divided Koreas resumed their dialogue for the first time in more than two years to discuss the North's participation in the Winter Olympic Games to be held here from Feb. 9-25. The two leaders last spoke on the phone on Thursday.

According to Moon's chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, Trump said the U.S. also remains open to talks with the North should the reclusive state wish to hold such dialogue at an appropriate time and under the right conditions.

The U.S. president also dismissed a recent report that he may be considering military action against the North and asked Moon to let North Korea understand that there will be no military action of any kind while the two Koreas continue to hold dialogue, Yoon said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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