May 25, 2018 / 7:40 PM / a year ago

U.S., South Korean top diplomats commit to keep working on North: U.S. spokeswoman

FILE PHOTO: A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As President Donald Trump scrapped plans for a summit with North Korea, the top diplomats for the United States and South Korea spoke on the phone about continuing to work closely on having talks with Pyongyang and thwarting its nuclear ambitions, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said on Friday.

“They committed to remaining closely coordinated in all of their efforts to create conditions for dialogue with North Korea and agreed that must continue until North Korea embraces denuclearization,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

She said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearize the Korean peninsula “and to the ironclad alliance” between the United States and South Korea.

Trump on Friday dangled the possibility of putting his June 12 meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un back on the schedule, telling reporters that the administration was talking to North Korea about the potential for a meeting.

Trump scrapped the summit in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials demanding unilateral disarmament. Trump cited North Korean hostility in canceling the summit.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Grant McCool

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