12:20 GMT +326 September 2017
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    This file photo taken on December 18, 2012 shows South Korea's presidential candidate Moon Jae-In of the opposition Democratic United Party speaking during a press conference at the party head office in Seoul.

    US Prisoner Release May Kick-Start Talks With North Korea – Moon Jae-in

    © AFP 2017/ KIM JAE-HWAN
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    South Korea's new President claims that North Korea could help restart bilateral talks by releasing US nationals.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in said Friday North Korea could help restart bilateral talks by releasing US nationals or ending its controversial ballistic and nuclear tests.

    "The question is when conditions [for dialogue] will be created and what they will be," Moon said in Washington. "For example, we could enter talks with North Korea when it promises to stop ballistic and nuclear provocations or… releases three Americans it has been holding."

    There are reported to be three US citizens of Korean descent jailed in North Korea. Kim Hak-song was detained this May on accusations of hostile acts against the state, Kim Dong-chul was sentenced in 2016 for spying, while Kim Sang-duk was seized last April for unknown reasons.

    A US tourist, Otto Warmbier, died in June after he was airlifted to the United States from North Korea. He reportedly fell into a coma shortly after he was sentenced to hard labor in March 2016 for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel in Pyongyang.

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    Moon Jae-in, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea
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