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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

SEOUL, July 30 (Yonhap) — The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

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Sherman stresses importance of cooperation on N. Korea during visit to China: State Dept.

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Yonhap) — U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman highlighted the need for her country and China to work together in dealing with regional and global issues, such as nuclear-armed North Korea, during her visit to China, the State Department said Monday.

In her discussion with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials, the deputy secretary also expressed U.S. concerns over human rights conditions in China.

Sherman’s two-day visit to China largely focused on the growing rivalry between the two countries.

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U.S. supports inter-Korean dialogue: Kurt Campbell

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Yonhap) — The United States supports dialogue between South Korea and North Korea, a senior White House official said Tuesday, welcoming the reopening of direct communication lines between the divided Koreas.

“We are supportive of the dialogue and communication with North Korea,” Kurt Campbell, policy coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, told reporters after taking part in a breakfast meeting in Washington hosted by the Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation.

His remarks come after North Korea reopened its direct communication lines, including a military hotline, with South Korea on Tuesday (Seoul time), about 13 months after it had unilaterally severed them in protest against anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets flown in from the South.

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U.S. approach toward N. Korea leaves doors open to dialogue: Austin

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Yonhap) — The United States continues to take a practical approach toward North Korea that leaves open the door for dialogue, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday.

The U.S. defense chief made the remark as North Korea reopened its direct communication lines with South Korea in an apparent move to improve its relations with Seoul that many believe may also lead to a resumption of dialogue with the United States.

“And we’re taking a calibrated, practical approach that leaves the door open to diplomacy with North Korea … even while we maintain our readiness to deter aggression and to uphold our treaty commitments and the will of the Security Council,” Austin said at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Lecture in Singapore, according to a transcript of his speech released by the Pentagon.

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U.S. welcomes reopening of inter-Korean communication lines as ‘positive step’

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Yonhap) — The United States welcomes the reopening of direct communication lines between the two Koreas, a State Department spokesperson said Tuesday, calling it a “positive step.”

The remarks come after North Korea reopened its communication channels, including a military hotline, with South Korea on Tuesday (Seoul time).

“The United States supports inter-Korean dialogue and engagement and welcomes today’s announcement on the restoration of inter-Korean communications lines,” the department spokesperson said in an email to Yonhap News Agency, asking not to be identified. “This is a positive step.”

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Nuke envoy says humanitarian support for N. Korea can contribute to dialogue mood

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) — Humanitarian support for North Korea could help foster the mood for dialogue, Seoul’s top nuclear envoy said Thursday, after this week’s restoration of inter-Korean communication lines fanned hopes for the resumption of nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Noh Kyu-duk made the remarks at a peace forum, expecting the reactivation of the lines to help restore a “virtuous cycle,” in which progress in cross-border relations will help advance ties between Washington and Pyongyang.

The two Koreas reactivated communication lines Tuesday, 13 months after the reclusive regime severed them in anger over activists having sent anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border into the North.

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Senior diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. hold phone talks after reactivation of inter-Korean hotline

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) — Senior diplomats of South Korea and the United States held phone talks Thursday, the foreign ministry said, after this week’s restoration of inter-Korean communication lines raised hopes for the resumption of nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and Seoul’s top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, had separate talks with their U.S. counterparts, Wendy Sherman and Sung Kim, respectively, to discuss cooperation for “substantive” progress in joint efforts to foster a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said.

The two Koreas reactivated communication lines on Tuesday, 13 months after the reclusive regime unilaterally severed them in anger over South Korean activists sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.
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