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Unification minister hopes better inter-Korean ties lead to resumption of nuclear talks

North Korea 13:42 May 24, 2019

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Friday that he will work hard to advance inter-Korean relations so as to resume the stalled denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea.

"We will do our best to steadily improve inter-Korean relations in a way that will lead to the resumption of North Korea-U.S. talks at an early date," Kim said at a forum in Seoul.

"Despite the lull since the Hanoi summit, North Korea and the U.S. still maintain the principle of resolving the issue through diplomatic negotiations," he added. "What is important now is to manage the situation in a stable way and resume North Korea-U.S. talks as soon as possible."

Nuclear talks have been stalled since the February summit held in Hanoi between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump ended without a deal as they failed to find common ground over the scope of Pyongyang's denuclearization steps and Washington's sanctions relief.

Inter-Korean relations have also remained in limbo recently, with North Korea staying lukewarm over cross-border projects and cooperation.

The North has been mum for about a month on South Korean President Moon Jae-in's proposal to hold another summit with its leader Kim as part of efforts to break the logjam in cross-border relations and stalemated denuclearization negotiations.

Unification Minister Kim shrugged off concerns over a protracted lull in inter-Korean relations, emphasizing that South Korea is strongly committed to carrying out agreements that the leaders of the two Koreas reached through their three summits last year, based on which he expected momentum for dialogue to recover soon.

Unification minister hopes better inter-Korean ties lead to resumption of nuclear talks - 1


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