America's top diplomat explained that the diplomatic ball is now in North Korea's court, stressing that the Biden administration is focusing on a practical approach that will explore diplomacy with the regime.
"I hope that North Korea will take the opportunity to engage diplomatically and to see if there are ways to move forward toward the objective of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And so we'll look to see not only what North Korea says, but what it actually does in the coming days and months. But we have, I think, a very clear policy that centers on diplomacy and it is, I think, up to North Korea to decide whether it wants to engage or not on that basis."
The remarks during a joint press conference Monday with his British counterpart in London, where he's attending the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' Meeting, come after Pyeongyang threatened Washington that it will face a (quote) "worse and worse crisis."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also underscored the need for regional cooperation in dealing with the North, in his bilateral meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, held on the sidelines of the G7 talks.
The two allies discussed the conclusion of Washington's extensive North Korea policy review, which Chung welcomed.
Following the meeting, Seoul's top diplomat told Yonhap News Agency that the two allies will exchange more views during trilateral talks between South Korea, Japan and the U.S., likely to be held on Wednesday.
Chung is currently taking part in the G7 meeting as a special guest, along with ministers from Australia, India, South Africa and Brunei.
Meanwhile, Blinken also sat down with his Japanese counterpart, and again stressed the importance of regional cooperation to denuclearize North Korea.
The two foreign ministers shared concerns about the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, while re-affirming their commitment to tackling the issue through trilateral cooperation also involving Seoul.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.