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Top diplomats from South Korea, U.S. discuss North Korea, Korea-Japan ties Updated: 2014-02-14 06:29:33 KST

Topping the agenda at Thursday's talks between South Korea and the United States' top diplomats was North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Seoul comes a day after North Korea demanded for a postponement of the upcoming joint military drills between Seoul and Washington to some time after the two Koreas hold reunions for families separated by the Korean War.
The visiting U.S. official stressed Washington's shared stance with Seoul that humanitarian issues and the military drills will be dealt with as two separate matters.

"The family reunification is a matter of human rights We urge a complete separation of these two and no use of one as an excuse to somehow condition the other."

But Secretary Kerry was reluctant to comment on the friction between Seoul and Tokyo, which stemmed from Japan's ongoing denial of its wartime crimes in the early 1900s.

"So while the United States obviously has a strong interest in relationship and in the security form of relationship, it is up to Japan and the Republic of Korea to put history behind them and move the relationship forward."

In response, Minister Yun made clear South Korea's position that Japan's denial of history is harming their bilateral ties, adding the issue is no longer just a regional one.

"The international community has expressed concern on a range of issues like Japan's past aggression and its forced sexual slavery of women. Japanese politicians must listen closely to such concerns and take proper and sincere measures in order to improve ties with Korea."

"Secretary Kerry will leave for China on Friday, a country that he called has the greatest potential to influence North Korea than any other nations in the world.
Kim Min-ji , Arirang News.


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