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Moon, Biden agree on need for dialogue with N. Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) and US President Joe Biden hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington on Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) and US President Joe Biden hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington on Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Friday he has agreed with US President Joe Biden on the importance of dialogue with North Korea.

The most pressing common task for the allies is to achieve the complete denuclearization of Korea and permanent peace, Moon stressed during a joint press conference with the US leader following their summit talks at the White House.

Moon said he and Biden have confirmed that it is vital to have dialogue, based on promises, between Washington and Pyongyang as well as between the two Koreas.

Biden also expressed support for inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation, he added.

Moon said South Korea will push for a "virtuous" cycle of progress in inter-Korean ties advancing Washington-Pyongyang dialogue, while maintaining close coordination with the ally.

He pointed out that the Biden administration has swiftly completed a review of Washington's strategy on Pyongyang, which shows that it is placing a diplomatic policy priority on the matter.

Moon characterized the new US approach as "very practical, gradual, in-stage and resilient" on the basis of past accords including the 2018 summit agreement between then-US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Biden did not mention the Singapore deal by name, however, during the press conference.

Moon said South Korea and the US agreed on principles and will make efforts together, and he voiced hope for a positive response from the North.

Regarding the so-called timetable of relevant steps for denuclearization, Moon said there's no difference between Seoul and Washington.

He welcomed Biden's pick of Sung Kim, a Korean American diplomat at the State Department, as special envoy on North Korea. It is viewed as reflecting the firm commitment of the US for exploring diplomacy and its preparedness for dialogue with North Korea, Moon said, adding that Kim, former US ambassador to South Korea, has expertise in affairs related to the peninsula. (Yonhap)
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