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Seoul and Washington agree to discuss all steps against Pyongyang Updated: 2017-08-11 20:00:49 KST

The Blue House says the top security advisers of South Korea and the U.S. discussed the current security situation on the Korean peninsula and in the region, and shared their thoughts on future measures both countries could take to deter threats from North Korea.

"The two sides reaffirmed their promise to closely and transparently cooperate step-by-step on the actions they take to ensure the security and safety of both nations and their people."

This is the second time Cheong Wa Dae has confirmed a phone call between Chung and McMaster, the first one taking place eight days ago in the first three-way conference call that included their counterpart in Japan.
Friday's call came two days after North Korea threatened to fire four missiles near Guam in response to the U.N. Security Council's new sanctions.
To that threat, President Trump ramped up his own rhetoric saying North Korea will meet "fire and fury" if it does anything to hurt the U.S., apparently even mulling the idea of a preemptive strike on the regime.
Some say the call with McMaster should have come much sooner considering how tense things have become.
But according to a high-ranking Blue House official, on the condition of anonymity, it should not be assumed that prior to Friday there haven't been more calls between Chung and McMaster.
In fact, he stressed the two nations are in close communication.

The Blue House official noted the criticism that President Moon has appeared distant from the situation.
But he reiterated that it was President Moon himself who ordered the National Security Council standing committee to take all necessary measures to alleviate the regional tensions.
The official also said the President's more reserved response in public doesn't mean he's not doing his job to protect the country, but that he's waiting for the right time to send out his message in the most effective way.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News
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