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“What we may see in the coming weeks is South Korean willingness to provide additional assistance through international or U.N. channels,” Mr. Snyder said.

Ms. Park held out the hope that a gradual build-up of trust between the neighbors could lead to a peaceful reunification. “But as we say in Korea, ‘It takes two hands to clap,’” she said.

In her address, Ms. Park assured lawmakers that the South Korean economy is stable, called for peace initiative in Northeast Asia, sought a “modernized” successor to an existing U.S.-South Korea civil nuclear agreement, and urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would provide U.S. visas to South Korean workers.