The US’ new top envoy for North Korea said on Monday he looks forward to a “positive response soon” on dialogue from North Korea, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, during his Seoul trip to meet counterparts from South Korea and Japan.
US special representative for North Korea Sung Kim is in South Korea for a five-day visit, amid an impasse in denuclearisation talks with Pyongyang, with no word of any planned efforts to contact the North.
“We will be prepared for either, because you know, we are still waiting to hear back from Pyongyang for a meeting,” he said. “Hopefully dialog indicates that we will get a positive response soon.”
Kim, who doubles as ambassador to Indonesia, had back-to-back meetings scheduled with South Korea’s top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, as well as a trilateral session involving his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi.
Noh and Funakoshi were also scheduled to have a bilateral meeting to discuss North Korea.
Kim’s appointment came after US President Joe Biden’s administration conducted a review of North Korea policy that concluded the US would seek to find practical ways of inducing Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.
In his first direct comments on Biden’s administration, which took office in January, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged preparation for both dialogue and confrontation with the US, particularly the latter, state news agency KCNA said on Friday.
The US said on Sunday it saw Kim’s comments as an “interesting signal,” but added that Washington was still waiting for direct communication from Pyongyang to start any talks relating to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.