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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

U.S. opposed to ROK plan to resume economic cooperation with DPRK

Monday’s Yomiuri reported from Seoul on the disclosure by a source involved in U.S.-Japan-ROK relations that a top U.S. security official conveyed to his South Korean counterpart in early January U.S. opposition to the ROK government’s plan to resume economic cooperation programs with the DPRK, such as Mount Kumgang tourism and the Kaesong Industrial Complex. In response to the proposal allegedly made by ROK President Moon’s senior security aide during a White House meeting on Jan. 7, National Security Advisor O’Brien reportedly stated that Seoul should be careful about promoting inter-Korean initiatives in violation of UN sanctions. Noting that the South Korean leader is extremely keen to play up improvements in inter-Korean relations ahead of the general election scheduled for April 15, the daily speculated that if Seoul ignores U.S. opposition and resumes such cooperation, its ties with Washington will be damaged. The daily added that South Korea’s recent decision to deploy military assets to the Middle East for maritime security operations was perhaps intended to ease Washington’s opposition to the resumption of inter-Korean economic cooperation.

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