SEOUL-- South Korea remains closely coordinated with the United States over the latter's efforts to pursue direct diplomacy with North Korea, a foreign ministry spokesman here said Thursday.

"South Korea and the U.S. are closely consulting on all issues related to North Korea and its nuclear program in order to achieve their common purpose of completely discarding North Korean nuclear weapons through peaceful means under a firm principle of not tolerating North Korean nuclear weapons," Noh Kyu-duk, spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a press briefing.

The U.S. top negotiator on the North Korean issue, Joseph Yun, has been in contact with diplomats at the North Korean mission to the United Nations, called the "New York channel," reported on Tuesday.

The report said the U.S. is quietly pursuing direct diplomacy with North Korea, quoting an unnamed senior State Department official.

"There could be various manners of dialogue (with North Korea) if they help achieve the common purpose," the spokesman said. "The South Korean government will continue to closely coordinate with the U.S. side so as to have South-North Korean talks and U.S.-North Korea talks supplement mutually," he noted.

Source: Yonhap News Agency