Seoul proposes trilateral talks with US, N. Korea

Seoul proposes trilateral talks with US, N. Korea

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Seoul: Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a parliamentary audit at the National Assembly in Seoul on Oct. 26, 2018.(Yonhap/IANS)
Seoul, March 4 (IANS) South Korea on Monday proposed trilateral dialogue with the US and North Korea after denuclearisation talks between Washington and Pyongyang collapsed in Hanoi last week.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the government in Seoul, to get the nuclear talks back on track, would seek semi-official meetings called "track 1.5" in a multilateral format, which would include representatives from the three countries and civilian experts.
Kang said the proposal to hold dialogue in the new format was mooted during a National Security Council (NSC) meeting here on Monday chaired by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to Efe news.
The three countries held three-way talks in Sweden just before the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, which ended abruptly without any agreement over the regime's denuclearisation process.
The NSC meeting, the first to be held in Seoul in nine months, was convened to discuss the reasons of failure in Hanoi and how to begin the initiative afresh.
Moon at the meeting defended his conviction that North Korea and the US will eventually reach an agreement on denuclearising the peninsula and lift sanctions that Washington imposed on Pyongyang over its atomic weapons testing, the report said.
Moon, in a statement at the end of the meeting, urged both sides to resume working meetings as soon as possible to dissolve the deadlock.
Pyongyang and Washington aired their own versions of events at the Hanoi summit, but the disagreements between the two sides were primarily on dismantling of the number of facilities and assets of the North Korean nuclear programme along with volume of international sanctions that the North Korean regime wanted the US to remove.
Moon said Washington and Pyongyang avoided hostile posturing following the lack of agreement in Hanoi, which was an indication that there would be progress in the future and the two sides would eventually reach an agreement.
Moon, who has played a pivotal role in mediating between the US government and the North Korean regime, said Seoul's intermediary role would now be more important.
He urged his cabinet to accurately identify the differences that prevented both sides from reaching an agreement and find a way to reduce them.
--IANS
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(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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