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Seoul's FM: N. Korea's Apology Should Be Acceptable to S. Koreans Updated: 2011-01-25 00:00:00 KST

South Korea is looking for a clear and sincere apology from North Korea for sinking the South's warship, the Cheonan, and shelling Yeonpyeong Island last year.
Seoul's Foreign Minister on Tuesday said anything that comes out of the expected high-level military talks between the two Koreas will have to be acceptable to the South Korean people.
Earlier this month, Pyeongyang suggested discussing the set of attacks on its southern neighbor.
Currently, Seoul is trying to decide the details of the talks, as well as preparing to propose another meeting on the North's denuclearization.


[Interview : Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade] "The related ministries are discussing ways to confirm North Korea's sincerity towards denuclearization. And I will make an announcement when a decision has been reached. Ultimately, the possible inter-Korean dialogue on denuclearization will proceed within the six-party framework."

On the recent successful rescue of South Korea's chemical cargo ship and its 21 crew members from Somali pirates, Minister Kim said the government will stand by its stance of not negotiating with pirates.
The minister strongly disagreed with a suggestion that some within the international community are criticizing Seoul's recent military operation, which left eight pirates dead.


[Interview : Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade] "I believe it is absolutely reasonable for the Korean government to deal with the pirates who have inflicted damage on the Korean people and attacked our military. In that context, I'm placing importance when examining the option of escorting them to Korea."

The minister also indicated North Korea's uranium enrichment initiatives will likely be a major topic during upcoming visits by high-ranking officials from Washington and Moscow.


[Reporter : Choi You-sun
yschoi@arirang.co.kr] "The regional partners are expected to make some progress towards deciding on when and how they will take North Korea's uranium enrichment program to the UN Security Council when US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin visit Seoul later this week.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News."
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