US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun speaks to the media beside his ROK counterpart Lee Do-hoon after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul on July 8, 2020. (KIM HONG-JI / POOL / AFP)
SEOUL - The United States has stressed the importance of resuming talks with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (ROK) said on Thursday, even though the DPRK has said it has no intention of returning to the negotiating table.
ROK has been trying to promote peace efforts and ROK National Security Adviser Suh Hoon was instrumental in arranging summits between US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who wound up three days of talks in Seoul, earlier rejected speculation he was seeking to meet DPRK officials during his visit, but said the United States was open to talks.
“Biegun emphasised the importance of reopening dialogue with North Korea,” the office of ROK President Moon Jae-in said in a statement.
The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea and the ROK as South Korea.
Biegun is due to arrive in Japan later on Thursday.
ROK has been trying to promote peace efforts and Suh was instrumental in arranging summits between US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump and Kim met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, raising hopes for a negotiated end to the DPRK’s nuclear program. But their second summit, in 2019 in Vietnam, and later working-level talks, fell apart.
Trump said on Tuesday he was open to another meeting with Kim and thought it might be helpful, Voice of America said, citing a transcript of Trump interview with Gray Television, due to be aired on Sunday.
But DPRK, apparently frustrated that there’s been no sign of any easing of punishing sanctions against it, has said in recent weeks it had no intention of sitting down again with the United States.
As US Special Representative for DPRK, Biegun led working-level talks, which have been stalled since the two sides last met in Sweden in October.
HONG KONG NEWS