North, S. Koreans meet as US calls for proof of change

July 23, 2011 08:44


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NUSA DUA, Indonesia - The foreign ministers of North and South Korea met briefly at an Asian security conference on Saturday as the United States maintained Pyongyang had to improve ties with its neighbor before six-party talks on its nuclear program could resume.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was encouraged by a preliminary meeting between North and South Korean officials on the sidelines of the conference, but added nuclear-capable Pyongyang must prove it has changed.

"We urge North Korea to demonstrate a change in behavior, including ceasing provocative actions, taking steps toward irreversible de-nuclearization and complying with its commitments," Clinton said in remarks to the ASEAN Regional Forum on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Secretive and Stalinist North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests in the last five years, sending shockwaves across the region. But they have led to international sanctions which have squeezed the impoverished state.

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