Trump backs Seoul’s initiative to resume Pyongyang dialogue

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Washington, July 1 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has backed his visiting South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in’s policy to resume dialogue with Pyongyang, according to a joint statement issued after their summit at the White House.

“President Trump supported President Moon’s aspiration to restart inter-Korean dialogue on issues including humanitarian affairs,” Yonhap News Agency quoted the statement as saying on Friday night.

It said the two countries do not maintain a hostile policy toward North Korea and that the door to dialogue “remains open under the right circumstances”.

Moon earlier said talks can be resumed if Pyongyang freezes its nuclear and missile activities.

Seoul and Washington shared top priority to resolve the nuclear issue and agreed to put maximum pressure on Pyongyang while affirming their resolve to work for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner”.

Sanctions are a tool of diplomacy, the statement said.

“They affirmed their commitment to fully implement existing sanctions and impose new measures designed to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to compel Pyongyang to cease its provocative actions and return to sincere and constructive talks.”

The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to an increased deterrence against North Korean threats and vowed to step up efforts to strengthen their countries’ military alliance.

Seoul and Washington will also enhance their bilateral cooperation in dealing with global issues including terrorism.

“The two leaders condemned the grave human suffering and violence in Iraq and Syria caused by IS (Islamic State), and reaffirmed the strong US-South Korea partnership in the Global Coalition to counter IS,” the statement added.

–IANS

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