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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About KoreaSeoul Tells U.S. of Concern Over Envoy’s Remarks
South Korea has told the U.S. of its concern at recent remarks by the U.S. ambassador to Seoul in which he labeled North Korea a “criminal regime,” Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday. The daily said Wie Sung-rak, the minister for political affairs at the South Korean Embassy in Washington, met Joseph DeTrani, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, on Monday and warned Ambassador Alexander Vershbow’s rhetoric was not helpful for the progress of six-party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The paper said Vershbow’s remarks came in the midst of a growing conflict between the U.S. and North Korea and caused Washington to worry that things are progressing in the way they believe North Korea wants by turning Washington and Seoul against one another. Wie neither confirmed nor denied the report, saying, “It is true that I met with DeTrani, but I am not at liberty to reveal the specifics.”

The Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday quoted a State Department official as saying Vershbow’s remarks reflected U.S. policy toward North Korea. The official declined to comment on a call from Uri Part lawmaker Kim Won-ung to recall the U.S. ambassador.

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