US, S. Korea say they'll push North to return to nuke talks

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SEOUL, South Korea — Top U.S. and South Korean officials agreed Thursday to effort to person North Korea to instrumentality to talks connected its atomic program, which Pyongyang has insisted it won’t bash successful protestation of what it calls U.S. hostility.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was successful Seoul arsenic portion of her determination circuit that volition instrumentality her to China this weekend. She’ll beryllium the highest-ranking U.S. authoritative to sojourn China since President Joe Biden took bureau successful January.

On Thursday, she met South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong for talks connected North Korea, the subject confederation betwixt Seoul and Washington and different determination issues.

The 2 decided to proceed adjacent consultations to get North Korea to instrumentality to talks and agreed dialog is indispensable to the implicit denuclearization and imperishable bid connected the Korean Peninsula, Chung’s ministry said successful a statement.

U.S.-led diplomacy aimed astatine stripping North Korea of its atomic programme successful instrumentality for economical and governmental benefits has been stalled for astir 2 ½ years. A large sticking constituent is North Korea’s calls for the United States to wantonness argumentation Pyongyang considers hostile — an evident notation to punishing U.S.-led sanctions imposed implicit its past atomic and rocket tests.

Last month, the influential sister of North Korean person Kim Jong Un dismissed prospects for a restart of the atomic diplomacy, saying U.S. expectations of talks would “plunge them into a greater disappointment.” After her statement, Kim’s overseas curate said North Korea wasn’t adjacent considering the anticipation of immoderate interaction with the Americans, noting it “would get america nowhere, lone taking up precious time.”

The blunt back-to-back statements person dampened hopes that were raised erstwhile Kim said North Korea was acceptable for some dialog and confrontation — though much for confrontation.

Some experts accidental North Korea volition apt find the urgent request to instrumentality to talks if its existent pandemic-related economical difficulties further worsen.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, Chung asked Sherman to strive to bolster the South Korean-U.S. alliance. Sherman responded she would bash so, saying the confederation is cardinal to peace, information and prosperity successful the Indo-Pacific portion and Northeast Asia, according to the statement.

Later Thursday, Sherman met President Moon Jae-in astatine Moon’s statesmanlike bureau of Blue House. Details of their gathering weren’t instantly available.

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