Wednesday, October 18, 2017

S. Korea, U.S., Japan agree to seek all diplomatic options on North Korea

S. Korea, U.S., Japan agree to seek all diplomatic options
Senior diplomats from South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Wednesday to seek all possible diplomatic options for peacefully and completely resolving the issue of North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam hosted trilateral talks in Seoul with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama.

"We shared our assessments of the current situation and reaffirmed our push for a complete dismantlement of the North's nuclear program through peaceful methods," Lim told reporters in a joint press conference. "We also agreed to make all possible diplomatic efforts, including sanctions and dialogue, through close coordination among the three countries."

"In particular, the three countries held the same view that it is essential to stably manage the situation on the Korean Peninsula, while at the same time keeping pressure on the North to resolve its nuclear problem," he added.

Sullivan echoed Lim's comments, emphasizing that the United States is "dedicated" to diplomacy in resolving the North's nuclear issue and that its aim is to eventually bring the North to the negotiating table.

"We are dedicated to diplomacy. We are dedicated to the campaign of pressure on the DPRK, pressure not only by our allies but by other states as well, including China, Russia and other members of the U.N. Security Council," he said.

"Our objective is, through the campaign of pressure, to bring North Korea to the negotiating table without preconditions so that we can achieve our objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula," he noted.

Sullivan said that the United States will continue its efforts to press the North to give up its nuclear weapons development aspirations but it should be prepared to respond to any circumstances given that the North is "unpredictable" and "not transparent."

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