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S. KOREA-U.S. TO TERMINATE WORKING GROUP
입력 2021.06.23 (15:04) 수정 2021.06.23 (16:47) News Today
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[Anchor Lead]

South Korean and American foreign affairs officials decided to terminate the ROK-U.S. Working Group that had been discussing sanctions and other working-level matters associated with North Korea’s denuclearization. Korean authorities explained that both sides agreed with the criticism that the Working Group is impeding the positive development of inter-Korean relations.

[Pkg]

The ROK-U.S. Working Group was launched in November 2018 as a bilateral consultative body on inter-Korean cooperation projects and sanctions against Pyongyang. But the group is on its way out after only two and a half years in operation. While it provided a convenient one-stop platform for discussions on sanctions against the regime, some criticized that it undermined inter-Korean relations. A case in point is the unsuccessful flu medication aid to North Korea. The plan fell apart while they were examining the possibility of Tamiflu-transporting trucks violating sanctions.

[Soundbite] Choi Young-sam(Foreign Ministry Spokesman) : "At the recent chief nuclear representatives’ meeting, officials examined the operational status of the Working Group and agreed to terminate the existing body."

As an alternative, authorities have mentioned a new consultative body composed of director-general level officials. Unlike the Working Group, which convened only when there was an issue to discuss, the new body is likely to be convened on a regular basis to coordinate comprehensive policies on North Korea. However, there are concerns that discussions by the new body would not be as effective as before since the organization is now downgraded to the director-general level. The government hopes Pyongyang would react positively to the latest measure. The communist state used to call the Working Group a “pro-American trap.”

[Soundbite] Choi Jong-kun(1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs) : "This would clearly be a signal to North Korea. The Working Group was perceived as a platform to discuss only sanctions."

Meanwhile, Seoul and Washington are finalizing the plan for a joint military exercise in August. The combined drills had been a major obstacle to inter-Korean dialogue. Top nuke envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan reportedly discussed various options at Monday’s meeting. The U.S. Department of Defense is reportedly examining and assessing several military training plans based on the strategic environment.
  • S. KOREA-U.S. TO TERMINATE WORKING GROUP
    • 입력 2021-06-23 15:04:07
    • 수정2021-06-23 16:47:03
    News Today
[Anchor Lead]

South Korean and American foreign affairs officials decided to terminate the ROK-U.S. Working Group that had been discussing sanctions and other working-level matters associated with North Korea’s denuclearization. Korean authorities explained that both sides agreed with the criticism that the Working Group is impeding the positive development of inter-Korean relations.

[Pkg]

The ROK-U.S. Working Group was launched in November 2018 as a bilateral consultative body on inter-Korean cooperation projects and sanctions against Pyongyang. But the group is on its way out after only two and a half years in operation. While it provided a convenient one-stop platform for discussions on sanctions against the regime, some criticized that it undermined inter-Korean relations. A case in point is the unsuccessful flu medication aid to North Korea. The plan fell apart while they were examining the possibility of Tamiflu-transporting trucks violating sanctions.

[Soundbite] Choi Young-sam(Foreign Ministry Spokesman) : "At the recent chief nuclear representatives’ meeting, officials examined the operational status of the Working Group and agreed to terminate the existing body."

As an alternative, authorities have mentioned a new consultative body composed of director-general level officials. Unlike the Working Group, which convened only when there was an issue to discuss, the new body is likely to be convened on a regular basis to coordinate comprehensive policies on North Korea. However, there are concerns that discussions by the new body would not be as effective as before since the organization is now downgraded to the director-general level. The government hopes Pyongyang would react positively to the latest measure. The communist state used to call the Working Group a “pro-American trap.”

[Soundbite] Choi Jong-kun(1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs) : "This would clearly be a signal to North Korea. The Working Group was perceived as a platform to discuss only sanctions."

Meanwhile, Seoul and Washington are finalizing the plan for a joint military exercise in August. The combined drills had been a major obstacle to inter-Korean dialogue. Top nuke envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan reportedly discussed various options at Monday’s meeting. The U.S. Department of Defense is reportedly examining and assessing several military training plans based on the strategic environment.
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