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Seoul stays calm despite fears over North Korea talks

World | 2018-07-09 13:24:00
Seoul stays calm despite fears over North Korea talks
Key South Korean government figures insisted Monday that the peninsula remains committed to peace and denuclearization, despite North Korean criticism of the United States over the weekend.

Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of making a "unilateral and gangster-like" demand for the North's denuclearization after two-day negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late last week.

"I believe that (the sides) are in the process of reaching agreement on all issues," presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom was quoted as saying by local news agency Yonhap.

"Nine hours of negotiations were held for two days, and I believe this was the first time that the two sides have put forward what they want in an open manner," Kim added, insisting that neither Pyongyang nor Washington want negotiations to collapse.

The spokesman also reportedly suggested South Korean President Moon Jae-in will act as a facilitator, as he has already spoken to both the U.S. and North Korean leaders on numerous occasions this year.

Meanwhile, the South's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a forum in Seoul Monday that America and the North are moving "in the same direction".

"It is necessary to work on ironing out their differences in initial stages of talks," Cho said.

A major sticking point between the two sides has been Washington's plan for North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

Pyongyang has consistently demanded a more gradual process based on developing mutual trust.
Anadolu Agency
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