South Korea's Ambassador to the U.S., Lee Soo-hyuck, has called for the swift resumption of an inter-Korean railway project.
Speaking to reporters in Washington on Tuesday, Lee said he believes the railway project is the one that should be pushed for most urgently as it will take a long time to complete.
Despite a joint survey on the North's railways and roads in 2018,… no progress has been made since amid the deadlock in denuclearization talks and sanctions on the regime.
Lee added the underlying principle is that Seoul is seeking to do what it can under the framework of international sanctions on Pyeongyang.
His comments come after President Moon Jae-in expressed, during a New Year's press conference, his desire to get inter-Korean cooperation moving again amid the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the U.S.
Lee said the U.S. has never denied that inter-Korean cooperation is helpful for denuclearization and necessary for improved Pyeongyang-Washington relations adding that stance hasn't changed.
"We have to get inter-Korean relations back into a virtuous cycle, and any agreements reached between the two Koreas will help the resumption of North Korea-U.S. dialogue."
As for discussions in their Working Group a task force set up by the allies in 2018 to coordinate over North Korea-related issues Lee said that, as far as he knows, Washington has never rejected any proposals put forward by Seoul.
Concerns have been raised over a possible rift between the allies over the matter, but Lee said they have been effectively exchanging views through the group and until now the U.S. has always concluded that South Korea's plans do not violate sanctions.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.