South Korea's presidential office on Thursday looked to soften President Trump's latest remarks about South Korea easing its sanctions on Pyeongyang.
Speaking to reporters, presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said South Korea sees those remarks as a way of explaining that the two allies discuss and agree on such measures before they act, and that they only prove how closely the allies are working together.
In Washington on Wednesday, the U.S. President had said Seoul won't lift sanctions on North Korea without U.S. approval.
He was responding to comments by South Korea's Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, who'd suggested that Seoul was considering easing its own sanctions on Pyeongyang to encourage the regime to give up its nukes.
She later took back those remarks.
Those sanctions were imposed on the North after its deadly torpedo attack on the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010.
Still, the fact President Trump rejected the idea of South Korea canceling sanctions alone could indicate that Seoul and Washington are still in lockstep on North Korea.
South Korea's unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon said later that in fact there had been no detailed review of lifting the sanctions.
He did say, however, that Seoul has been flexible in improving relations between the two Koreas.
And he said, the North too is getting ready for its second summit with President Trump and is doing so in view of what the international community demands and expects.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.