Washington has once again stressed the importance of its trilateral cooperation with Seoul and Tokyo as the new administration reviews U.S. policy on North Korea to adopt a new approach.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that the administration is more concerned with the prospect of 'not' closely coordinating with allies than it is a delay in engaging with the North.
He added that the risk is moving "too soon" on issues related to the North or Iran.
In the past couple of weeks, U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken have emphasized close cooperation with Seoul in their respective phone calls with their South Korean counterparts.
As the Biden administration's policy takes shape, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special adviser on national security and foreign affairs, Moon Chung-in, says Biden's team should examine the proposals North Korea made at the Hanoi summit in 2019, which included a so-called "small deal."
Speaking to the Asia Times, Moon advised the Biden administration to pursue contacts at the summit or envoy level, because their North Korean counterparts have no power or authority at the working level.
He advised Washington to consult very closely with South Korea, given Biden's emphasis on the alliance, while reviving the six-party talks within a multilateral framework.
On Wednesday, Seoul's chief nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk spoke on the phone with U.S. State Department's Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Sung Kim.
During the talks, they agreed to continue consulting closely as the U.S. reviews its North Korea policies.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.