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Seoul, Washington to restart extended deterrence dialogue in near future: Amb. Cho

Amb. Cho Tae-yong speaks during a press conference at the South Korean Embassy in Washington on Monday. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)
Amb. Cho Tae-yong speaks during a press conference at the South Korean Embassy in Washington on Monday. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)

WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States will likely resume their strategic dialogue on extended deterrence in the very near future, South Korea's ambassador to the US said Monday.

Amb. Cho Tae-yong said the bilateral dialogue, known as the "Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG)," may be held within the next two months.

"(We) have been working to strengthen our traditional alliance (with the US), while focusing on efforts to restart the EDSCG amid the lingering possibility of North Korean provocations while North Korea continues to avoid dialogue with the international community," Cho said in a meeting with reporters here.

"I believe the dialogue can be held within the next month or two," he added.

The EDSCG was suspended in 2018 amid heightened engagement with North Korea that included three inter-Korean summits and two historic US-North Korea summits.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, agreed to revive the strategic talks when the two met in Seoul in May, less than two weeks after Yoon took office.

North Korea has launched more than 30 ballistic missiles in 18 rounds of missile tests this year, marking the largest number of ballistic missile tests it conducted in a single year.

Officials in Seoul and Washington have said the North may also conduct a nuclear test in the near future, noting the country appears to have already completed all preparations for such a test.

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and last nuclear test in September 2017.

"We also continue to hold consultations with the US on the Yoon government's North Korea policy, which has the elements of both feasibility and flexibility, while sternly dealing with North Korean provocations and threats," Cho said.

"I believe South Korea and the US have established the foundation for air-tight cooperation on their North Korea policy and for their joint work ahead based on consensus," he added. (Yonhap)

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