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Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. agree on efforts for N.K. engagement in phone talks

North Korea 11:58 August 06, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed to make continued efforts to engage with North Korea and foster lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula during their phone talks Friday, the foreign ministry said.

The talks came after last week's restoration of inter-Korean communication channels fueled hopes for the resumption of nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, though growing optimism for dialogue was tempered by the North's warning that the planned South Korea-U.S. military exercise would cast clouds over inter-Korean relations.

"The minister and secretary agreed that the South and the U.S. would continue to make coordinated diplomatic efforts for substantive progress toward the goal of the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula," the ministry said in a press release.

"Especially, the two countries held concrete consultations on ways for cooperation with the North, including humanitarian cooperation, and agreed to continue efforts for engagement with the North," it added.

In a tweet, Blinken said that during the "good" conversation with Chung, he reaffirmed U.S. support for inter-Korean dialogue and engagement, as well as the importance of the South Korea-U.S. alliance for the complete denuclearization and creation of lasting peace on the peninsula.

This file photo, taken on March 17, 2021, shows Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (R) and his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken bump elbows before their talks at the foreign ministry in Seoul. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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