S. Korea, U.S. envoys discuss end-of-war proposal, ways to restart talks with N. Korea
Updated: 2021-10-19 17:03:03 KST
After a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk on Monday in Washington, U.S. special envoy Sung Kim reiterated that Washington remains committed to working closely with Seoul and Tokyo to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
"The U.S. continues to reach out to Pyeongyang to restart dialogue. Our intent remains the same. We harbor no hostile intent towards the DPRK, and we are open to meeting with them, without pre-conditions."
But he added that the U.S. also has a responsibility to implement UN Security Council resolutions when addressing the regime.
The U.S. envoy said he and his Korean counterpart discussed South Korean President Moon Jae-in's proposal to declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War, adding he looks forward to continuing those discussions.
The American diplomat also touched upon the Biden administration's focus on human rights issues in North Korea as well as humanitarian concerns.
He added the U.S. supports the provision of humanitarian aid to North Korea while urging the North to resolve the Japanese abductee issue.
South Korean special envoy Noh told reporters that he and his U.S. counterpart discussed ways to engage with North Korea, including joint humanitarian cooperation projects and meaningful ways to build trust.
The two diplomats have recently been discussing providing the North with humanitarian aid as part of measures to bring Pyeongyang back to the negotiating table.
He added they had more talks on the Korean government's proposed end-of-war declaration.
"Most of today's discussion has been spent on in-depth consultations on the end-of-war declaration. We believe the U.S. side has a deepened understanding of our plan for the end-of-war declaration through a series of recent talks."
The envoys' meeting came a matter of hours before North Korea's launch Tuesday of a short-range ballistic missile.
Despite the regime's recent series of provocations, experts say Seoul and Washington's diplomatic efforts remain valid and important.
"I think it would become even more important now that the North Koreans are escalating their provocations. I think North Koreans are essentially saying that they will keep raising the tension unless the U.S. re-approaches Pyeongyang with more complete and concrete proposals for dialogue."
Sung Kim plans to visit Seoul later this week for more talks.
On Tuesday in Washington, chief nuclear envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan are set to meet for talks on North Korea.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.