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White House 'fully expects' talks with North Korea to go ahead... but no contact so far Updated: 2018-03-13 18:25:43 KST


The White House brushed away any concerns on Monday over whether the unprecedented talks between the U.S. and North Korean leaders will be able to take place.
White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders explained that as long as Pyongyang keeps up its end of the bargain, the talks will go ahead.

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"Look, we fully expect that it will. The offer was made and we've accepted. North Korea made several promises and we hope that they will stick to those promises and if so the meeting will go on as planned."

However, the sudden decision by President Trump to agree to talks has left the White House scrambling to make preparations.
CNN are reporting that a hastily arranged meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson being called back early from his trip to Africa.
Despite such plans, Tillerson revealed on Monday that so far there has been no direct contact with Pyongyang over the talks.

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"The ongoing discussions about a potential meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un as you know is a very recent development. We've not heard anything directly from North Korea, although we expect to hear something directly from them."

Meanwhile, the National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster briefed the United Nations Security Council on Washington's plans during negotiations.
He stressed that throughout this process the international community needs to continue to maintain pressure on the North Korean regime.

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"We all, we all agreed that we're optimistic about this opportunity but we're determined. We're determined to keep up the campaign of maximum pressure until we see words matched with deeds and real progress toward denuclearization."

However, at a separate UN meeting on Monday, the UN Human Rights Council said that although the upcoming talks could be a historic occasion, they also urged all parties that
North Korea's human rights record must be remembered and confronted with the regime.

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"My main message today is that any advancement on the security dialogue should be accompanied by a parallel expansion on the human rights dialogue."

Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.
Reporter : kwon@arirang.com
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