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Biegun reaffirms U.S. support for inter-Korean cooperation, readiness to engage N.K.: State Dept.

All News 22:15 July 09, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun reaffirmed U.S. support for inter-Korean cooperation and Washington's continued readiness to engage in talks with North Korea, the State Department said Thursday.

Biegun, who doubles as the top U.S. envoy for North Korea, was in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday to meet with top South Korean officials as nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled and inter-Korean tensions have heightened with the North's blowing up of a joint liaison office.

"In his meetings, Deputy Secretary Biegun reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-ROK Alliance, U.S. support for inter-Korean cooperation, and continued U.S. readiness to engage in dialogue with the DPRK," the department said in a statement, using the acronyms for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea, and North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Biegun met with officials including Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, presidential national security adviser Suh Hoon and his counterpart in North Korea affairs, Lee Do-hoon.

"Deputy Secretary Biegun commended the ROK for serving as a model in COVID-19 response while upholding democratic values," the State Department said.

"Deputy Secretary Biegun also discussed security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, including collaboration among like-minded countries and countering efforts by those who seek to undermine good governance and the rules-based international order," it added.

This photo shows U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun during a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, in Seoul on July 8, 2020. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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