U.S. to continue to pursue diplomacy with N. Korea despite missile launches: nuke envoy

September 29, 2021

North Korea’s latest missile launches will not affect the U.S.’ determination to seek diplomacy with the North for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. nuclear envoy for Pyongyang said Wednesday.

Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea, made the remark at a press event in Jakarta, a day after the North test-fired a hypersonic missile into the East Sea. The firing came after the regime’s test-firings of two short-range missiles on Sept. 15 and a new type of cruise missile days earlier.

While describing the missile launches as a “threat” and “a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions,” under which the North is banned from testing or using nuclear and ballistic technologies, Kim said that does not “deter” the U.S. from continuing to pursue a “diplomatic path.”

“We’re strongly committed to finding a diplomatic path to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said at the event with foreign journalists. “That has not changed at all. These missile activities do not change our determination.”

“We’re waiting to hear back from Pyongyang. We have proposed dialogues on a wide range of topics … we hope to hear back soon,” Kim added.

The missile launches came amid Seoul’s efforts to explore ways with Washington to resume the stalled dialogue with Pyongyang. Since last week, Pyongyang has expressed a willingness to improve inter-Korean relations and even discuss a summit with Seoul, but on the condition that the South drops its double standard and hostile attitudes against the regime.

Kim is set to hold talks with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu-duk, to discuss North Korean issues in Jakarta on Thursday.