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S. Korea-U.S. working group useful, function can be adjusted: Cheong Wa Dae official

All News 16:53 September 02, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- A top Cheong Wa Dae official said Wednesday the South Korea-U.S. working group on North Korea is "useful," and discussions are under way on how to better operate it.

The remarks by President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser, Suh Hoon, during a National Assembly session came in response to talk of negative effects of the forum launched in 2018.

The working group's main aim is for the allies to coordinate efforts more effectively to achieve the denuclearization of Korea and bring lasting peace to the peninsula, as strategies on Pyongyang have at times been a source of thinly-veiled rifts between the two sides.

The North has accused the Moon administration of being beholden to the U.S. and hesitant in moving forward peace projects.

Asked about the concern by a lawmaker, Suh said, "Basically, the South Korea-U.S. working group is useful."

The allies are in consultations on how to better operate it by "adjusting the aspects of it being misunderstood and excessively functioning." Suh gave no details.

Suh Hoon, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, attends a National Assembly session in Seoul on Sept. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

Suh, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, rather took issue with the "viewpoint" of critics.

"There is a problem, since (they) look at the matter with just the view that (South Korea) is going through pre-coordination with the U.S. as if they were discussing South-North relations there," he said.

Suh added that the government is aware of the opinion that the working group is a roadblock to inter-Korean ties.

"We've discussed (the issue) with the U.S. adequately and we'll reflect such a point going forward," he said.


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