The presidential office in Seoul is trying to downplay U.S. President Donald Trump's hawkish remarks about the prospect South Korea easing its sanctions on the North.
Presidential Spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told the daily press briefing on Thursday that Seoul recognizes Trump's comments are meant to only ensure discussions and consent with South Korea before proceeding on all issues.
Noting that Trump's remarks came in the process of responding to various questions from reporters, the spokesman said that the comments only prove the close consultations between Seoul and Washington.
Speaking to reporters at the Oval Office Wednesday, Trump said Seoul won't lift its sanctions on North Korea without approval from the U.S. This came in response to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha's earlier remarks that the government is mulling lifting its cross-border sanctions on the North.