US, South Korean top diplomats commit to keep working on North, says US spokeswoman

A man watches a TV news screen showing US President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - As President Donald Trump scrapped plans for a summit with North Korea, the top diplomats for the United States and South Korea spoke on the phone about continuing to work closely on having talks with Pyongyang and thwarting its nuclear ambitions, a US State Department spokeswoman said on Friday (May 25).

"They committed to remaining closely coordinated in all of their efforts to create conditions for dialogue with North Korea and agreed that must continue until North Korea embraces denuclearisation," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

She said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearise the Korean peninsula "and to the ironclad alliance" between the United States and South Korea.

Trump on Friday dangled the possibility of putting his June 12 meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un back on the schedule, telling reporters that the administration was talking to North Korea about the potential for a meeting.

Trump scrapped the summit in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials demanding unilateral disarmament.

Trump cited North Korean hostility in cancelling the summit.

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