U.S. offer for dialogue remains on table, but will not reduce sanctions on N. Korea: State Dept.

February 10, 2023

The United States continues to remain open to dialogue with North Korea but will not reduce sanctions on the reclusive country just to bring Pyongyang back to the dialogue table, a state department spokesperson said Thursday.

On the same token, the department spokesperson said the U.S. will not reduce its joint military exercises with allies.

“We have an offer on the table to the DPRK for dialogue right now. This is an offer that the DPRK could have accepted over the course of nearly two years, and so far it has chosen not to,” Ned Price told a daily press briefing, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Instead, the DPRK has engaged in provocation after provocation, each one of which poses a threat to international peace and security in the region and potentially beyond,” he added.

Pyongyang fired an unprecedented 69 ballistic missiles last year, far surpassing its previous record of 25 ballistic missiles launched in a year.

The North has accused the U.S. of provoking North Korean missile tests by staging massive joint military drills with South Korea and Japan that it claims are aimed at invading the North.

Price dismissed the North Korean accusation, insisting the “defensive maneuvers” the U.S. has undertaken with its allies were only aimed at ensuring U.S. commitment to the defense and security of South Korea and Japan.

“We are doing that in the face of provocations from the DPRK,” he said. “We would like to see the DPRK cease these provocations. We would like to see the DPRK engage in dialogue. But until and unless that happens, our approach will remain the same.”

The department spokesperson declined to comment when asked about the massive military parade held Wednesday (Korea time) in Pyongyang to mark the 75th founding anniversary of North Korea’s armed forces.

He only offered to say, “These are propaganda exercises on the part of the DPRK.”

“What I will say is that our goal remains the same. That’s the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We are prepared to engage in dialogue and diplomacy with the DPRK to that end.” he added.