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Top U.S. nuke envoy reaffirms allies' shared objective of denuclearizing N. Korea

All Headlines 15:06 October 30, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- The top U.S. nuclear envoy reaffirmed Tuesday that Washington and Seoul have the same objective of denuclearizing North Korea amid concerns about a possible rift between the allies in dealing with the communist state.

"We want the same thing for the Korean Peninsula: peace and stability, primarily the denuclearization of North Korea," Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, said at a meeting with Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon in Seoul.

"There are many initiatives that we can cooperate on, and we are looking forward to working closely between the ministry and the U.S.," he added.

The meeting comes amid concerns that the U.S. and South Korea might differ on how and in what sequence the denuclearization of North Korea should proceed.

South Korea has been eager to bolster inter-Korean relations by expanding contacts and exchanges since their summit in April.

The U.S. has been opposed to it, saying sanctions will stay in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear and missile programs.

Washington's apparent discomfort with South Korea's push to deepen ties with North Korea despite a slower-than-expected denuclearization process has been cited as a major reason for the apparent delay in cross-border exchanges.

South and North Korea earlier agreed to start conducting on-site inspections of railways in the North in late October as part of efforts to modernize and connect their rail systems across the border. They, however, have yet to determine a detailed schedule for the joint project.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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