March 5, 2018 / 5:29 PM / 18 days ago

Pentagon 'cautiously optimistic' about talks between North, South Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon is “cautiously optimistic” about talks between Seoul and Pyongyang, a U.S. military spokesman said on Monday after a 10-member South Korean delegation met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, talks with South Korean delegation led by Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 5, 2018. The Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via REUTERS

“Our job is to make sure that we maintain those military operations to defend the Korean peninsula and we will (stand) shoulder to shoulder with our South Korean partners in the ROK-U.S. alliance,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning told reporters, using an acronym for the Republic of Korea.

“But we are cautiously optimistic and obviously we encourage the dialogue to take place,” Manning added.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Makini Brice

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