UPDATE : 2018.11.19 MON 18:09
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S. Korea to coordinate closely with U.S. amid inter-Korean talks: envoy

South Korea will closely coordinate with the United States as it pursues dialogue with North Korea, Seoul's top envoy to the United Nations has said.

On his Facebook page Monday, Amb. Cho Tae-yul said he discussed the recent inter-Korean talks during a speech hosted by the U.N. Association of New York last week.

He noted that North Korea's agreement to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is spurring hope for eased tensions on the peninsula, an improvement in inter-Korean ties and an end to the North's nuclear weapons program.

This photo, captured from Amb. Cho Tae-yul's Facebook page, shows the envoy speaking at an event hosted by the U.N. Association of New York on Jan. 17, 2018. (Yonhap)

"But I also said it is too early to have optimistic expectations only, considering the complexity of the political situation in Northeast Asia," the ambassador wrote. "I emphasized that while we make the most of the ongoing inter-Korean talks, we should regard the still grave security situation on the Korean Peninsula seriously and the international community should be united in its response, and to this end, our government will closely coordinate with the U.S. as we pursue South-North dialogue."

The first inter-Korean talks in more than two years came about as a result of the international community's faithful implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang and Seoul's persistent calls for dialogue with the regime, according to Cho.

"Above all, considering that just a few weeks ago there was no light at the end of the tunnel, the mere fact that North Korea came to the dialogue table is positive and meaningful progress," he added. "We should keep up this momentum and work to make a path to serious denuclearization negotiations."

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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