U.S. official urges better S Korea-DPRK ties, supports dialogue

15:42, June 10, 2011      

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Relations between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) need to improve, a senior U.S. official visiting Seoul said Friday, as the two Koreas wrangle over their secret meeting last month.

Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said he reviewed recent developments in inter- Korean relations with South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan and deputy minister Kim Jae-shin, voicing support for cross-border dialogue.

His Asian tour, which also brought the diplomat to China, Mongolia and Indonesia, came as the two Koreas offer different accounts of their Beijing meeting in May, where Pyongyang says Seoul officials "begged" for inter-Korean summits and attempted to offer bribes for concessions.

After South Korea dismissed the claim as "unilateral" and " unworthy of a response," the DPRK threatened to disclose recordings of their secret meeting to prove wrong Seoul's insistence that the talks were primarily aimed at persuading Pyongyang to apologize for two deadly incidents last year.

The ongoing dispute dims chances for imminent inter-Korean dialogue, seen as a precondition for resuming stalled six-party talks.

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Source: Xinhua
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