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S. Korean PM calls for patience in peace process with Pyongyang

TOKYO, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called Friday for patience in forging ahead with the denuclearization and peace process with North Korea, warning that a series of hurdles could test the process going forward, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“(The process to bring) complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula has just begun. The peace process could face difficulty many times going forward,” Lee was quoted as saying at a peace forum in Seoul.

“We should never go back to the past when we were locked in an endless standoff and concerned about the South and the North going to war. I believe it is the same with the North’s internal situation and commitment,” said the premier.

The remark came as concerns have been growing about Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearization after little progress was made in last week’s first high-level nuclear negotiations between the North and the US since their landmark summit last month.

Just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Pyongyang, the North’s Foreign Ministry openly criticized the US for making what it said was a “unilateral and gangster-like” demand for “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump held their summit in Singapore on June 12, during which Kim affirmed his commitment to denuclearization.

Source: Kuwait News Agency