South Korea, U.S. security aides discuss North Korea, OPCON transfer in Washington
The door is open -- but no provocations will be tolerated.
That's the common ground shared by Seoul and Washington regarding Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.
South Korea's chief presidential national security aide Kim Jang-soo and his U.S. counterpart Susan Rice met at the White House on Thursday and agreed that the allies will deal sternly with any North Korean provocations, but also said the door to dialogue remains open, should Pyongyang take sincere steps toward denuclearization.
The two presidential aides also agreed to establish a "hotline" to discuss North Korea issues and other matters of concern, and added that Beijing's assistance is crucial in dealing with Pyongyang.
In regard to the transfer of operational control of Korean forces during times of war, both sides agreed to reach a deal on the timeline and conditions by June 2014.
Seoul has proposed a delay in the schedule set for December 2015 -- saying it needs more time to prepare to take a leading role in a potential war with North Korea.
This is the first time the two presidential security aides have held talks since Kim took office in March and Rice, in July.
Kim is scheduled to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.
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