PM calls for early resumption of U.S.-N.K. nuke talks

SEOUL South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday expressed hope for the early reopening of U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks, saying their results will influence the permanent establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"The two Koreas and the United States have been striving to find a way for the North's denuclearization starting last year ... Noticeable outcomes have yet to be made, but (they) are (still) maintaining a track for dialogue to find the way," Lee said in congratulatory remarks at the opening ceremony of the Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD), an annual international security forum.

"For now, we're seeking working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang to reopen, and hope they will take place as early as possible," he said.

Lee noted South Korea has sought inter-Korean peace via such projects as the setup of inter-Korean joint liaison office, a preliminary survey for the reconnection of inter-Korean roads and railways and the disarmament of the Joint Security Area.

"The peninsula has seen the peace in that scope, and yet the peace is incomplete and provisional," Lee said.

The Seoul government will continue to endeavor to make the peace spread and take root, while assisting U.S.-North Korea talks, he added.

Hosted by the defense ministry, the vice-ministerial forum will run until Friday, with defense officials and civilian experts from around 50 countries on hand for discussions on security issues involving the peninsula and Northeast Asia.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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