US says door remains open for N. Korea’s return to nuclear talks

TOKYO, US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said Friday that the door remains open for North Korea to return to nuclear negotiations, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.

Biegun made the remarks during his courtesy call on South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, a day after Pyongyang’s firing of two missiles. Just five days after firing off multiple projectiles, the North launched the short-range missiles on Thursday, putting a damper on Seoul’s moves to provide food aid to Pyongyang as a potential catalyst for the resumption of nuclear negotiations between the US and the North.

“While assessing (the current point) as a very crucial juncture to continue communication and cooperation between the South and the US, Biegun said that the door for North Korea’s return to negotiations remains open,” the ministry said in a press release.

The negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have hit an impasse since the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un collapsed due to a failure to bridge gaps on the extent of Pyongyang’s denuclearization and Washington’s sanctions relief. Kang voiced concerns that the North’s launches on Thursday would not be helpful at all for efforts to improve inter-Korean ties and reduce military tension. “Kang stressed that it is important to have serious dialogue among the South, North and US for the complete denuclearization (of the peninsula) and the establishment of a lasting peace,” the ministry said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency