S. Korean, U.S. top diplomats discuss outcome of inter-Korean dialogue

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SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed the outcome of the inter-Korean dialogue held earlier this week, South Korea’s foreign ministry said Friday.

Kang and Tillerson held a telephone conversation earlier in the day, talking about the recently-held high-level talks between South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and ways to strengthen cooperation between South Korea and the United States.

Senior-level delegations from South Korea and the DPRK met Tuesday in the truce village of Panmunjom, agreeing to hold a separate inter-Korean dialogue on military affairs.

Pyongyang also agreed to send its high-ranking delegation and athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are set to run from February to March in South Korea’s eastern county of PyeongChang.

During the phone talks, the South Korean foreign minister explained to the U.S. secretary of state about the outcome of the inter-Korean dialogue.

Kang stressed the position of South Korea that her country will push simultaneously for improved inter-Korean ties and the peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in his first New Year’s press conference Wednesday that improved inter-Korean relations cannot be separated from the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, noting that the two issues should be pursued simultaneously to create a virtuous cycle between them.

On Wednesday night, Moon held a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, sharing a possibility that the inter-Korean talks can naturally lead to a dialogue between the United States and the DPRK for the denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Meanwhile, top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States held a meeting in Washington for two days from Wednesday to share the outcome and the inter-Korean talks, according to the foreign ministry.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for the Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, met with his U.S. counterpart Joseph Yun.

Lee and Yun talked about how to turn the momentum of the resumed inter-Korean dialogue into a momentum for the peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

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