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On North Korea, the US and South Korea are united

Following President Obama's State of the Union message, in which he insisted 'North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons,' South Korea and the US are showing a united front on North Korea.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan (l.) shakes hands with US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg before a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Kim Jae-hwan/AP

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US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg had the perfect Korean saying Wednesday to convey the bond between the US and Korea when it comes to North Korea's nuclear weapons program: "We're as close as sticky rice cake."

That expression summed up the rapport Mr. Steinberg may have achieved in an intensive conversation with South Korea’s foreign minister, Kim Sung-hwan, following President Obama's State of the Union message. Mr. Obama cited the need to "stand with our ally South Korea and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons."

South Korea, meanwhile, proposed talks between South and North Korean senior military officers for Feb. 11 at the truce village of Panmunjom where the Koran War armistice was signed in July 1953. Those talks are intended as a prelude to a meeting between defense ministers as requested by North Korea after Mr. Obama and China’s president, Hu Jintao, expressed “willingness to closely cooperate on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” at last week’s White House summit.

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