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US offers ‘sustained, substantive talks’ to North Korea

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US envoy to UN, says Washington has offered to meet North Korean officials without any preconditions “and we have made clear that we hold no hostile intent toward the DPRK.”

North Korea has been subjected to UN sanctions since 2006, in a bid to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. (AFP)

The United States has offered to meet North Korea without preconditions and made clear that Washington has no hostile intent toward Pyongyang, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said as the Security Council met over North Korea’s latest missile launch.

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“The DPRK must abide by the Security Council resolutions and it is time to engage in sustained and substantive dialogue toward the goal of complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters on Wednesday.

“We have offered to meet the DPRK officials, without any preconditions, and we have made clear that we hold no hostile intent toward the DPRK,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

North Korea’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thomas-Greenfield’s remarks.

Biden, Moon share deep concerns on North Korea nuclear programme

Tensions

North Korea – formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – has long accused the United States of having a hostile policy toward the Asian state and asserted that it has the right to develop weapons for self-defence.

North Korea has been subjected to UN sanctions since 2006, which have been steadily strengthened in a bid to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The measures include a ban on ballistic missile launches.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and then-US president Donald Trump met three times in 2018 and 2019 but failed to make progress on the US calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and North Korea’s demands for an end to sanctions.

New North Korea constitution seen as step to US peace treaty

Biden admin ‘prepared to engage in serious diplomacy’

Thomas-Greenfield said President Joe Biden’s administration was “prepared to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy.”

European council members –– France, Estonia, and Ireland –– also urged North Korea to “engage meaningfully” with repeated offers of dialogue by the United States and South Korea.

North Korea on Tuesday test-fired a new, smaller ballistic missile from a submarine, prompting the United States and Britain to raise the issue in the 15-member UN Security Council on Wednesday.

“It is the latest in a series of reckless provocations,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters.

“These are unlawful activities. They are in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. And they are unacceptable.”

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