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    Kerry: US Open to Talks if North Korea Committed to Denuclearization

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    The United States is willing to engage in dialogue with North Korea if Pyongyang is serious about denuclearization, US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday.

    WASHINGTON, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - The United States is willing to engage in dialogue with North Korea if Pyongyang is serious about denuclearization, US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday.

    "The United States remains committed to a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through authentic and credible negotiations. We remain open to dialogue with North Korea, but there is no value in talks just for the sake of talks. North Korea must demonstrate that it is serious about denuclearization and we need to be certain that it is prepared to live up to its international obligations and abide by international norms of behavior," Kerry said at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Yun Byung-se.

    Yun said North Korea's behavior has been erratic in recent months, because while exhibiting aggression, including attacks in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), senior North Korean officials have proposed high-level talks.

    "So what they speak and what they do seem to be inconsistent," said the South Korean foreign minister.

    But South Korea has given up on dialogue, according to Yun, until North Korea is transparent about its nuclear policy.

    The foreign minister also warned that since the Cold War ended tensions have never been higher within the Northeast Asian region.

    Kerry warned that the United States would remain vigilant against the "clear threat" North Korea poses, until it sees an authentic commitment to denuclearization.

    Earlier this week Kerry mentioned that the United States is willing to decrease its military presence in Asia if North Korea reaffirms its commitment to eliminating nuclear weapons.

    There are currently about 28,000 US troops stationed in South Korea. The two Koreas are formally in a state of war, as no peace treaty was ever signed after the Korean War of 1950-1953. In mid-October, South and North Korea concluded their first high-level military talks in seven years, although no major agreements have been reached.

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