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Inter-Korean dialogue comes first before six-party talks: S. Korean, U.S. officials

04-17-2011 09:14 BJT

SEOUL, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The United States and South Korea agreed Saturday that inter-Korean dialogue on denuclearization should come first before the resumption of the long-stalled six- party talks, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with her South Korean
counterpart Kim Sung-hwan during a meeting in Soeul, South Korea, April 16, 2011.
Hillary Clinton arrived in Seoul Saturday for talks with officials here in aneffort
to "strengthen the alliance and to discuss cooperation on regional issues".

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived here late Saturday for talks with South Korean officials, makes an effort to "strengthen the alliance and to discuss cooperation on regional issues".

Upon her arrival, Clinton headed directly to the residence of her South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan for a bilateral meeting.

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to strengthen the two nation's strategic alliance, issues related to the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two sides, the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, South Korea's foreign ministry said in a press release.

The two sides agreed to continue cooperation on the nuclear issue of the peninsula, stressing that, in order to restart the six-party talks, Seoul and Pyongyang should hold dialogue focusing on denuclearization first, and Pyongyang should show its sincerity through its actions.

The two ministers reiterated the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s uranium enrichment program is in violation of U. N. Security Council resolutions and its own commitments under the 2005 joint declaration, and agreed to press the international community to "sternly" deal with it.

On the bilateral relations, the two ministers agreed that the two nations should make more efforts to early ratify the FTA, and continue to push forward the transfer of wartime operational control and the relocation of U.S. troops' base in South Korea.

The two also discussed ways to push forward strategic dialogue between the two ministries.

The U.S. top diplomat will also meet with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday before she travel to Tokyo.

Her brief two-day visit, the first one since the so-called "2+2 " meeting last July, which gathered foreign and defense ministers of both the two nations to exchange views on security and regional issues, came following a meeting of the foreign ministers of NATO member countries in Germany.




Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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