South Korea, the United States and Japan once again reached out to Pyongyang to talk unconditionally, after the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, called on his country to prepare for both negotiations and confrontation.

“We continue to hope that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea’s official name) will respond positively to our approach and to our offer to meet anywhere and anytime without preconditions,” said the special envoy of States on Monday. United for North Korea, Sung Kim.

Kim spoke in these terms at a press conference after a three-way meeting in Seoul with the head of the South Korean nuclear negotiations, Noh Kyu-duk, and the director general for Asia and Oceania of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Takehiro. Funakoshi, reported by the Yonhap news agency.

During the meeting, the three diplomats addressed the recent statements of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, during a plenary session of the single party, in which he called on his country to prepare “for both dialogue and confrontation” with Washington.

This is the first message in which the North Korean leader shows his willingness to dialogue with the United States since the arrival at the White House of President Joe Biden, whose administration is committed to an intermediate diplomatic path to that of his predecessors.

Despite the dialogue proposal, the US envoy assured that the Biden Administration will continue to implement the resolutions of the United Nations (UN) Security Council “to address the threat posed by the DPRK to the international community,” and urged other countries to do the same.

Sung Kim took over as special envoy for North Korea in May after serving as acting deputy secretary of the State Department for East Asia and the Pacific.

The diplomat has been in Seoul since last Saturday as part of a five-day visit aimed at coordinating positions with South Korea and Japan towards the North Korean regime.

At their meeting, the three countries agreed to continue cooperating to achieve substantial progress towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace in the territory, the South Korean Foreign Ministry detailed in a statement.


Before his three-party meeting, special envoy Kim held a bilateral meeting with the South Korean head of nuclear negotiations Noh, in which he pointed out that, like North Korea, his country will also be prepared for any eventuality.

Referring to the North Korean leader’s statements on dialogue and confrontation, Kim stressed: “We will be prepared for either one, because, you know, we are still waiting for news from Pyongyang” about the dialogue proposal.

The North Korean regime, more isolated than usual due to its strict measures to prevent covid-19 from spreading in the territory, has not responded, at least publicly, to the requests that Washington has been raising since February to resume the conversations about denuclearization.

Noh Kyu-duk said Seoul will continue to play a “necessary” role for the early resumption of the stalled dialogue.

“We wish to restore the structure in which inter-Korean relations and relations between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are mutually beneficial,” said the South Korean official.

Pyongyang and Washington staged a historic rapprochement in 2018 during the US presidency of Donald Trump that was paralyzed at the beginning of the following year due to their differences in their approach to the North Korean disarmament process.

The disagreement between the North American country and the Asian country affected relations between North and South, which has its main military partner in the United States, and which Pyongyang considers a threat.

Regarding the frictions between neighboring countries, the US envoy reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to achieve both denuclearization and inter-Korean cooperation through dialogue and diplomacy.

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