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In Seoul, Clinton quiet on North Korea issue

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 07:15 PM
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In Seoul, Clinton quiet on North Korea issue
Source: The Washington Post

SEOUL When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton landed here Saturday night, she had a whole list of issues she wanted to talk over with South Korean officials, including a pending free-trade agreement and disaster relief for their mutual ally Japan.

But she made no direct mention in her public remarks of one key goal that, according to U.S. officials, she hoped to address: the ever-present, vexing problem of Seouls neighbor to the north.

The past two years ever since President Obamas inauguration have been especially challenging for U.S. diplomacy on the Korean peninsula. In that short time, North Korea has torpedoed a South Korean ship unprovoked, bombarded civilians in the South and detonated a nuclear weapon in a test. All the while, the six-party talks to denuclearize North Koreas government have remained stalled.

In her opening speech to South Koreas foreign minister, Clinton mentioned none of this, touching on North Korea only obliquely with a mention of non-proliferation. But U.S. officials say one major reason for her visit was to shore up the U.S. relationship with Seoul and to make sure theyre on the same page on North Korea.

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