There is no policy difference between the United States and South Korea in dealing with North Korean underground activities, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth reiterated Wednesday.

“President (Bill) Clinton has made it very clear that (South Korea’s) engagement strategy is a wise one. At the same time, President Kim (Dae Jung) demonstrated that he shares our concerns about the seriousness of some of the issues, particularly about the absolute necessity of resolving the suspect (nuclear) site,” Roth said in Washington in an internationally televised question-and-
answer session with reporters in Canberra, Seoul and Tokyo.

“I think this issue (of the difference between the U.S. and South Korean policies toward North Korea) is mostly exaggerated and I don’t see any difference at all,” he said. He added that the U.S. “expects success” during upcoming high-level talks with North Korea on securing inspections of a suspected nuclear facility in the country.

The talks are to begin Saturday in New York.

“We believe there has been some positive momentum in the first two rounds of negotiations, and from the United States’ perspective, we certainly believe there is a basis for the resolution of the issue at the next round of negotiations,” Roth said.

“We are prepared to stay the course as long as we can ultimately reach success,” he said.

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