United stance needed for Korean tensions

May 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM
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SEOUL, May 6 (UPI) -- South Korean and U.S. leaders should have a united position to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula, analysts say.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in the United States last weekend ahead of a meeting Tuesday with U.S. President Barack Obama. Both sides have focused on security on the Korean Peninsula following a February test by North Korea of an underground nuclear device.

Director General of the Department of American Studies at Korea National Diplomatic Academy Kim Hyun-wook told South Korean's Yonhap news agency there's been "no policy change" from the United States in terms of confidence-building efforts.

Food assistance was pulled by the United States last year in response to a rocket launch that violated U.N. sanctions. Kim said "any" policy shift from the United States would be welcome, though Park may have some work to do of her own.

Dongkuk University's North Korean studies Professor Kim Yong-hyun said both sides need a "united stance to resolve the North's nuclear issue through dialogue."

Yonhap notes that North Korea has backed away from the aggressive rhetoric early this year and may be signaling its willing to talk with members of the international community.

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