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Campbell Says Inter-Korean Re-engagement Must Come Before Six-party Resumption Updated: 2010-10-07 00:00:00 KST

Washington has once again placed weight on the need for the two Koreas to re-engage for there to be a return to the six-party nuclear talks and for inter-Korean relations to improve.
The comments came from visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, after he met with Seoul's Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin and chief nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac on Thursday.
Calling on North Korea to show a clear and demonstrable commitment to the 2005 joint agreement on denuclearization, Campbell added that South Korea must decide the fundamentals of its demand for an apology from Pyeongyang for the Cheonan attack, before the resumption of talks.

[Interview : Kurt Campbell
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia] "We also believe that there are some signs of dialogue and engagement between North and South and we encourage that process to continue."

The US diplomat also cast light on the importance of the Seoul-Washington ties, especially with recent signs of the father-to-son power transition in North Korea.
He then reiterated Washington's confidence and trust in South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's policies concerning North Korea.

[Interview : Kurt Campbell
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia] "We believe that President Lee Myung-bak has managed the very challenging relationship with North Korea with statesmanship, with patience and with calm and we feel very comfortable with South Korea in the lead."

Also on the agenda at Thursday's meetings were US President Barack Obama's visit to Seoul in November for the G20 summit, Pyeongyang's leadership change and a range of regional issues.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post published an article reflecting the Obama administration's full support of Seoul's decision on the state of affairs on the Korean peninsula.
The daily pointed out that the stalled multilateral negotiations can only resume when South Korea is ready to return to the roundtable and that the US wants improved South-North relations before the talks restart.

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "In the midst of the two allies' fortified cooperation on regional security, Seoul's deputy foreign minister is slated to make a trip to Washington in December to discuss the future of the ROK-US Foreign and Defense Ministers' Meeting with his counterparts.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News."
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