July 26, 2018 10:55
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday received the credentials from the new U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris.
Moon stressed cooperation between the two countries in trying to persuade North Korea to denuclearize.
"A strong alliance between Seoul and Washington is more important than ever before to achieve joint goals on the Korean Peninsula at a crucial time of dialogue between the two Koreas and between the North and the U.S.," he said. "I expect Ambassador Harris, who has a special relationship with South Korea, to play a big role."
"Intelligence authorities in Seoul and Washington think that North Korea is scrapping a missile engine test and missile launch facility in the wake of the dismantlement of its nuclear test site," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom quoted him as adding. "It's a good sign for the denuclearization of the North."
Harris told Moon the U.S. also anticipates the scrapping of the missile site and the repatriation of the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War, which will serve as a positive sign showing North Korea's commitment to denuclearization.
Harris takes up a post that had been vacant for a year-and-a-half after U.S. President Donald Trump took office and Harris' predecessor, a political appointment by the Obama administration, resigned.
A former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Harris is the son of a U.S. Navy officer and veteran of the Korean War.
Moon said he heard that Harris likes Andong soju and suggested they have a drink together some day. Harris quipped that they would need to drink a lot of it to cover the many pending issues between the two countries.
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