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U.S. urges N. Korea to respond to calls for talks during meetings with S. Korea, Japan Updated: 2021-06-21 13:32:49 KST

Senior officials from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan held meetings in Seoul on this Monday to discuss ways forward in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
With more, we have our foreign ministry correspondent Yoon Jung-min on the line.
Jung-min, what are we hearing so far?

Right, Devin.
South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Noh Kyu-duk has wrapped up meetings with his U.S. counterpart Sung Kim and his Japanese counterpart Takehiro Funakoshi.
During their trilateral meeting, the American diplomat said the U.S.' policy calls for a "calibrated and practical" approach and they will explore diplomacy with the North.
He emphasized, yet again, that there needs to be a response from Pyeongyang.
Take a listen.

"We continue to hope that the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach and our offer to meet anywhere, anytime without, preconditions."

Their meeting follows the message last week from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who spoke about preparing for both "dialogue" and "confrontation" with the U.S.
During a South Korea-U.S. bilateral meeting in the morning, Sung Kim said that the U.S. is still "waiting to hear back from Pyeongyang," adding that the U.S. will also be prepared for both dialogue and confrontation.

During the first face-to-face nuclear talks since the start of the Biden administration, the three discussed ways to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.
Noh said the South Korean government will continue to work for early resumption of talks.

"At this critical juncture, this meeting to strengthen the coordination among our three governments and find practical ways to make substantial progress is very timely and will be instrumental to achieving our mutual goal sooner."

This afternoon, South Korea and Japan held separate bilateral talks.
During those talks, Japanese diplomat Funakoshi emphasized Seoul-Tokyo cooperation as well as Seoul-Washington-Tokyo cooperation, calling both "essential" for peace and stability in the region.

For Sung Kim, it's his first time in Seoul in his new position. What else is on his schedule while he's here?

This afternoon, Seoul's foreign minister Chung Eui-yong met the U.S. envoy, asking for substantive progress in the Korean peace process through close coordination with South Korea.
Tomorrow morning, Sung Kim is set to meet with South Korea's unification minister Lee In-young.
He will also have talks with a deputy minister at the Unification Ministry to discuss North Korea policy.
And in the afternoon, the American diplomat is to meet members of academia and civil society to discuss the outcomes of the U.S policy review on North Korea.
Kim is set to leave early on Wednesday.

That's all from me at this hour.
Back to you, Devin.
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