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U.S. believes ball is in N. Korea's court: ambassador

All Headlines 06:16 March 12, 2019

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Yonhap) -- The United States appears to believe that it is up to North Korea to express an interest in resuming talks following the breakdown of last month's summit, South Korea's top envoy to Washington said Monday.

Amb. Cho Yoon-je said he met last week with senior officials in the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense and Congress to share their assessments of the Feb. 27-28 summit in Vietnam between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Some of the officials had been involved in the summit.

This file photo shows South Korean Ambassador to the United States Cho Yoon-je. (Yonhap)

"The U.S. side believes it clearly laid out its objectives at the summit," the ambassador said at a briefing with reporters. "It appears that (the U.S.) believes the ball is in North Korea's court and is calmly waiting for the North's position on further negotiations."

Trump and Kim failed to strike a deal on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief.

But the ambassador said the summit still achieved something in allowing the two sides to get a better understanding of each other's objectives, both through the working-level talks in the run-up to the summit and through the lengthy discussions the leaders had on denuclearization and possible U.S. concessions.

"In the event of future talks and negotiations, they will be able to conduct more advanced negotiations based off of the progress they made at the Hanoi summit to make even more progress," said Cho.

In his meetings last week, the ambassador said he discussed the prospects for further talks between North Korea and the U.S. as well as cooperation between South Korea and the U.S.

He plans to meet this week with key members of Congress and senior officials at the White House to continue discussions on ways to move the U.S. and North Korea forward.


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