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PM calls for patience in peace process with N. Korea

All Headlines 11:29 July 13, 2018

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called Friday for patience in forging ahead with the denuclearization and peace process with North Korea, warning that a series of hurdles could test the process going forward.

The remark came as concerns have been growing about Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization after little progress was made in last week's first high-level nuclear negotiations between the North and the United States since their landmark summit last month.

Just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Pyongyang, the North's foreign ministry openly criticized the U.S. for making what it said was a "unilateral and gangster-like" demand for "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization (CVID).

"(The process to bring) complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula has just begun. The peace process could face difficulty many times going forward. Every time it does, the press could show impatience and try to provoke public anxiety," Lee said during a peace forum in Seoul.

"Even if they do, we should never go back to the past when we were locked in an endless standoff and concerned about the South and the North going to war. I believe it is the same with the North's internal situation and commitment. We're being asked for greater wisdom, courage and patience."

President Moon Jae-in has also played down the North's criticism of the U.S., saying it's "a strategy that can often be seen in negotiations." Moon also said during a visit to Singapore that nuclear negotiations between the North and the U.S. are now on the right track.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon speaks during a peace forum in Seoul on July 13. (Yonhap)


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