US govt prepared to meet N Korea without any conditions

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But Pyongyang unresponsive to outreaches despite repeated offers from the Biden administration, reports Asian Lite News

The Biden administration is prepared to meet North Korea without any pre-conditions, a State Department spokesperson said.

The US official made the remark on Monday when asked if the US would be willing to consider easing sanctions on the North.

“We are prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions, and of course, we certainly hope that the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach,” said Jalina Porter, principal deputy spokesperson for the State Department.

During a telephonic press briefing, the deputy spokesperson again emphasised the need for dialogue between the US and North Korea when asked if Washington will also be willing to consider declaring a formal end to the Korean War.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier proposed the US and the two Koreas, possibly together with China, declare a formal end to the 1950-53 war as a way of promoting peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“Again, you’ve heard us say this from here and I think it’s worth underscoring that our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” added Porter.

North Korea remains unresponsive to US outreaches despite repeated offers from the Joe Biden administration to meet “anytime, anywhere without preconditions”.

Pyongyang has stayed away from denuclearization talks since early 2019.

Porter further said the US supports inter-Korean dialogue.

“What I can see from here is that … the US certainly supports inter-Korean dialogue, as well as engagement and cooperation,” she said.

N. Korea fires short-range missile into East Sea: Seoul (Ld)

Meanwhile, North Korea fired one short-range missile into the East Sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The missile was fired from the North’s Mupyong-ri in Jagang province eastward at around 6.40 a.m., the JCS said, adding the South Korean and US intelligence authorities are analysing the launch for additional information.

It did not however, specify if the projectile is a ballistic missile.

But the Japanese government said that it appeared to be a ballistic missile and splashed into waters outside its exclusive economic zone.

The launch came three days after Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said that Pyongyang could declare a formal end to the Korean War as suggested by the South and even discuss the possibility of a summit on conditions that Seoul drops its double standards and hostile attitudes against it.

In Seoul, top security officials held an emergency security meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) and voiced regret over the launch.

President Moon Jae-in ordered a “comprehensive analysis” of the missile launch and recent statements from the North, his office said.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said it is discussing the launch with allies and partners.

If the projectile is confirmed to be a ballistic missile, it would mark the third such launch so far this year, and the sixth known major weapons test if test-firings of cruise missiles are taken into account.

On September 15, the North test-fired two short-range missiles, believed to be its version of the Iskander, into the East Sea, which came just days after launching a new type of cruise missile.

Sources in Seoul said the missile flew shorter than 200 km at an altitude of around 60 km, adding it shows “different features from the missiles the North previously tested”.

North Korea has released several new types of short-range missiles in recent years amid stalled denuclearization talks with the US, including SLBMs and super-large multiple rocket launchers.

N. Korea urges US to permanently stop joint military exercise

The US must permanently stop its joint military exercises with South Korea and the deployment of its strategic weapons to the South if it wishes to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang’s UN Ambassador said.

In his address to the UN General Assembly on Monday, Kim Song, the chief of North Korea’s mission to the US, also said a good relationship may be formed between Pyongyang and Washington if and when the latter gives up its hostility toward his country.

“If the US wants to see the Korean War, the most prolonged and long-lasting war in the world, come to an end, and if it is really desirous of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, it should take the first step toward giving up its hostile policy against North Korea by stopping permanently the joint military exercises and the deployment of all kinds of strategic weapons.

“I am convinced that a good prospect will be opened for the US-North Korea relations and inter-Korean relations if the US refrains from threatening North Korea and gives up its hostility towards it,” he added.

The US State Department and the National Security Council are yet to comment on the North Korean diplomat’s remarks.

A State Department spokesperson had earlier urged North Korea to come to the dialogue table.

Just hours after the diplomat’s address, North Korea on early Tuesday morning fired one short-range missile into the East Sea.

The missile was fired from the North’s Mupyong-ri in Jagang province eastward at around 6.40 a.m., South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, adding the South Korean and US intelligence authorities are analysing the launch for additional information.

It did not however, specify if the projectile is a ballistic missile.

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