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S. Korea continues efforts to deter N. Korea's provocation, maintain momentum for dialogue: Sources Updated: 2020-12-04 05:25:07 KST

Senior diplomatic sources in Seoul say South Korea is continuing its efforts to manage the situation on the Korean Peninsula during the power transition in the U.S.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the sources said they will focus on deterring provocations by North Korea and keeping up the momentum for dialogue.
Also to discourage provocations, the sources said Seoul could nudge other key players, such as China and Russia, to use their influence.

On the issue of dialogue resuming between Pyeongyang and Washington, the diplomats see headwinds in the tensions between the U.S. and China and the deep social divide in the U.S. after the presidential election.
They also did not rule out the possibility of provocations by North Korea, such as tests of ICBMs.

However, they said, there are still some factors that are conducive to dialogue.
Considering North Korea's dire economic situation in the pandemic, the regime might want to get out from under the sanctions on it faster by engaging with the U.S.
The sources said Pyeongyang showed confidence in its weapons capacity through the massive military parade it put on in October, which could give it more negotiating leverage.
And because of that, the regime might want to talk with the incoming Biden administration sooner.

In the meantime, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegun, is highly likely to visit Seoul next week for talks with his South Korean counterparts.
When he comes, Biegun and South Korean officials are expected to discuss how they can continue to manage the situation on the Korean Peninsula under the new U.S. administration.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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