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US 'strongly supports' ROK-DPRK cooperation: US nuke envoy

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-07-08 14:39
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun speaks to the media beside his ROK counterpart Lee Do-hoon after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, July 8, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Wednesday that his country strongly supports cooperation between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) amid the Seoul's efforts to resume inter-Korean cooperation.

"The United States strongly supports inter-Korean cooperation, and we believe this plays an important component in creating a more stable environment on the Korean Peninsula," Biegun told reporters in Seoul after talks with Lee Do-hoon, ROK's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, according to Yonhap news agency.

"We look forward to fully supporting the government of (South) Korea as it advances its goals with North Korea (DPRK) in inter-Korean cooperation," the US nuclear envoy said.

His comment came as the ROK is seeking a US support for the resumption of inter-Korean cooperation projects that have been suspended under international sanctions toward Pyongyang.

ROK President Moon Jae-in offered in late April to the DPRK resuming inter-Korean cooperation by jointly tackling the COVID-19 outbreak, before expanding the cooperation.

Moon vowed in his New Year address to seek realistic ways for a broader inter-Korean cooperation while continuing efforts for the success of the DPRK-US denuclearization negotiations.

Citing the vision US President Donald Trump and top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un had through summits for the past two years, Biegun said his team will focus on "creating a more durable peace on the Korean Peninsula, transforming relations on the Korean Peninsula, elimination of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and a brighter future for the Korean People".

Kim and Trump met three times in 2018 and 2019, but the talks between Pyongyang and Washington to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula have been stalled since the Hanoi Summit between the leaders in February 2019 ended with no agreement.

Biegun arrived here Tuesday for a three-day visit. Before the talks, he paid a courtesy call to ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and held a strategic dialogue with Cho Sei-young, first vice foreign minister of the ROK.

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