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U.S. “actively engaged” in efforts to improve Tokyo-Seoul ties

Washington, Sept. 18 (Jiji Press) — David Stilwell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Wednesday his country is “actively engaged” in efforts to improve soured Japan-South Korea relations.

The U.S. government is urging both sides “to approach this problem from a positive and productive standpoint,” Stilwell told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

“We are actively engaged. Because that may not be visible publicly, doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” he said.

After referring to a meeting of the Japanese, U.S. and South Korean foreign ministers in Thailand in August, Stilwell said Washington is calling for Tokyo and Seoul “to take a pause and look for resolution rather than express their concern.”

Asked whether North Korea is still producing nuclear weapons, he said, “I assume they are, yes.”

Stilwell also confirmed that the United States maintains the policy of realizing the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

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