US and South Korea agree to persuade North Korea to return to nuclear negotiations


Seoul, South Korea (AP) —US and South Korean top executives agreed Thursday to persuade North Korea to return to talks on its nuclear program.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was in Seoul this weekend as part of her regional tour to take her to China. She will be the top US executive to visit China since President Joe Biden took office in January.

On Thursday, she met with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong to discuss the military alliance between North Korea, Seoul and Washington, and other regional issues.

In a statement, Chung decided to continue close talks to bring North Korea back into negotiations, stating that the agreed dialogue is essential for the complete denuclearization and permanent peace of the Korean Peninsula. It was.

Mr. Chung urged Mr. Sherman to work to strengthen the Korea-US alliance. In a statement, Sherman replied that he would, saying that the alliance was key to peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and Northeast Asia.

US-led diplomacy aimed at stripping North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for economic and political interests has been stalled for about two and a half years. The main problem is that North Korea calls on the United States to abandon policies it considers hostile. This is a clear reference to punishing US-led sanctions imposed on past nuclear and missile tests.

Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s influential sisters dismissed the prospect of an early resumption of nuclear diplomacy, saying US expectations for negotiations “would put them in greater disappointment.” Foreign Minister Kim said after saying that North Korea did not even consider the possibility of contact with Americans who said, “I can’t go anywhere, just spending precious time.”

A frank series of statements hopes that diplomacy will resume after Kim said that North Korea is ready for both dialogue and confrontation.

Some experts say North Korea is likely to find an urgent need to return to negotiations with the United States if the current pandemic-related economic difficulties worsen.