US and South Korea together to stop Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions
Seoul (AsiaNews) South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and US President George W. Bush reaffirmed their "robust alliance", while renewing their previous agreement to work together to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff in a peaceful manner.
The announcement came at the conclusion of a meeting between the two leaders at the White House.
Roh and Bush also discussed bilateral issues such as transfer of wartime operational control, and some economic agreements.
"Roh and Bush reaffirmed the principle to make joint efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through the six-party talks in a peaceful and diplomatic manner," a top Roh security aide said in a press briefing.
At the same time, they expressed "serious concern about North Korea's missile tests in early July and praised the subsequent UN Security Council resolution that condemned the North' provocative act", he added.
The two leaders stressed the need for "comprehensive and constructive" measures that could jointly be taken to draw North Korea back into talks in lieu of imposing any additional sanctions against the isolated regime.
The summit, the sixth of its kind since Roh came to power in early 2003, came amid growing concerns over what the media have called cracks between the two allies, as the US is said to seek tougher steps on Pyongyang despite South Korea's efforts toward a peaceful resolution.
On the alliance issue, the two leaders expressed their satisfaction at the ongoing transformation of South Korea-US ties, which they said were developing into a comprehensive, dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship.