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(LEAD) Moon, Trump agree on need to maintain dialogue momentum over N. Korea

Diplomacy 13:24 December 07, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with details from 4th para)

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Saturday that it's necessary to maintain dialogue momentum between Washington and Pyongyang, Cheong Wa Dae said, amid growing worries about the future of the Korea peace process.

During half-hour phone talks, they also agreed that the recent situations on the Korean Peninsula are "severe" and "dialogue momentum should be maintained to achieve prompt results from denuclearization negotiations," according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung.

Moon and Trump had "in-depth consultations" on ways to move forward the peace process and agreed to have a phone conversation whenever it's needed, Ko added.

President Moon Jae-in in a file photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Earlier this week, North Korea resumed its verbal attacks against Trump in response to his apparent warning message made during his trip to Britain for a NATO summit.

Trump did not rule out the possibility of using military force against the communist regime, again calling its leader Kim Jong-un "Rocket Man."

The North's foreign ministry hit back at Trump. If he was deliberate and confrontational in mentioning use of force, it should be "diagnosed the relapse of the dotage of a dotard," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui was quoted as saying by Pyongyang's state news agency, Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang has set a year-end deadline for Washington to offer concessions in nuclear talks. It has threatened to terminate the dialogue phase and adopt a "new way" in case the U.S. refuses to change tack.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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