S. Korea Downplays US-N. Korea Talks in Malaysia

Write : 2016-10-23 13:57:08 Update : 2016-10-24 08:47:19

S. Korea Downplays US-N. Korea Talks in Malaysia

The South Korean government has reaffirmed that South Korea and the United States will keep strong pressure and sanctions on North Korea, downplaying the significance of a latest unofficial dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang in Malaysia.
A Foreign Ministry official in Seoul explained on Sunday that the United States said the latest consultation was a “track 2” unofficial dialogue that doesn’t have anything to do with its government.
The official said that the U.S. administration remains firm on its position that mentioning dialogue in a hasty manner without signs of the North's intent to give up its nuclear weapons could only justify its wrong behavior.
The official stressed that Seoul and Washington will keep strong pressure and sanctions on Pyongyang in close cooperation with the international community.
Meanwhile, Leon Sigal, one of the American participants in the latest dialogue, told reporters on Saturday that he expected no official dialogue between the United States and North Korea under the Obama administration, but that a new U.S. government needs to reconsider its policies on the North.
The director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council said that as nongovernment officials, the U.S. delegates are trying to find something they can recommend to a new administration.
Sigal added that the U.S. participants are seeking ways to realize government-level talks between the two sides.
A North Korean delegation led by its deputy foreign minister Han Song-ryol held talks with former U.S. government officials in Kuala Lumpur Friday and Saturday to discuss pending issues including the North's nuclear and missile development.

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