Gov’t to closely work with U.S. toward progress in N.K. nuke talks

SEOUL-- South Korea will continue close consultations with the United States to achieve substantive progress in the nuclear dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang expected to take place later this week, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The North's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui announced Tuesday that the two sides agreed to hold working-level negotiations on Saturday following a preliminary meeting a day earlier. The talks would mark a resumption of nuclear talks that have been stalled since February's no-deal summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

The venue for the upcoming talks has yet to be made known.

On Wednesday, the foreign ministry said it will focus its diplomatic power on efforts to help the denuclearization process make substantial progress, including working closely together with the U.S. to deal with the North's demand for a "new calculation method" and security assurances.

Since Pyongyang offered to resume the talks early this month, it has repeated its demand for a "new proposal" from Washington that is acceptable to it.

Pyongyang has demanded step-by-step and simultaneous denuclearization in which every step of removing its nuclear program should be met with corresponding concessions. Washington has insisted that no sanctions relief will come unless Pyongyang takes concrete steps toward denuclearization.

In the audit report, the ministry said it will also continue to rally international support for denuclearization and the peace process based on the agreements reached at the inter-Korean talks and U.S.-North Korea summits held last year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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