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US-Korea alliance remains strong despite scandal: White House

The alliance between the United States and South Korea remains strong and durable despite a massive scandal rocking South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the White House said.

"The alliance between the United States and South Korea is a close alliance, it's a strong alliance, and it's one that is strong today as it's been. And one of the hallmarks of a strong alliance is that it remains durable, even when different people and different personalities are leading the countries," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

"It's because the government and people of both countries are committed to that alliance," he said in response to a question about the scandal that centers on allegations that a long-time confidante of Park, Choi Soon-sil, exercised huge influence over Park and state affairs.

Earnest said President Barack Obama has worked effectively with not only Park, but also her predecessors in terms of strengthening our alliance.

"Obviously, she's facing a difficult domestic political situation, and that's something that I won't weigh in on. I'm not aware that the president has weighed in on it, either in public or in private," he said.

He added that Obama has not spoken to Park since the aftermath of the North's nuclear test. (Yonhap)

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