The United States says it won't let the recent progress in its nuclear diplomacy with North Korea affect its close relations with key ally South Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered the reassurance Friday after meeting her South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan in Washington.
Despite warming U.S.-North Korean ties, tensions are running high on the divided Korean Peninsula, and Pyongyang appears cool to Seoul's offers of dialogue.
An academic conference in New York that winds up Friday offered an opportunity to break the ice.
Nuclear envoys of North and South are both attending but have not held separate talks.
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