Good evening. Chief nuclear envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan met in Seoul on this Monday to discuss ways forward in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
This is the first visit by Sung Kim as President Biden's Special Representative on DPRK
For more, we have our foreign ministry correspondent Yoon Jung-min joining us live.
Jung-min, what was discussed at today's series of meetings?
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 U.S. policy calls for a "calibrated and practical" approach, and said 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."
But he added that the U.S. will continue to implement UN Security Council resolutions to address North Korea, urging other council members to do the same.
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.
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.
And tomorrow, Sung Kim is set to meet with South Korea's unification minister Lee In-young and have talks with a deputy minister at the Unification Ministry.
Just ahead of the talks in Seoul, we also heard from the U.S. National Security Advisor in an interview on Sunday regarding the North Korean leader's comments about "dialogue" and "confrontation."
Jake Sullivan told ABC News that they regard Kim Jong-un's comments as "an interesting signal."
But Sullivan said that the U.S. is waiting to see a "clearer signal" from the regime that it's ready to start negotiations.
Sullivan added that the U.S. will wait and see whether the North follows up with any more direct communication about a potential path forward.
In the meantime, China is keeping a close eye on the U.S. envoy's visit.
Citing experts, China's Global Times reported on Monday that "positive results" are expected from the visit as the Biden administration looks for a new, more "flexible" approach and noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has signaled a willingness for talks.
Back to you, Conn-young.