U.S. hoping for North Korean response to offers of talks – South says

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Bystanders holding North Korea and U.S. flags wait for the motorcade of U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi
Bystanders holding North Korea and U.S. flags wait for the motorcade of U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang

July 22, 2021

By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States is hoping that North Korea responds to its offer to re-open talks on denuclearisation, South Korea’s presidential office said on Thursday, citing U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Sherman, a veteran diplomat with extensive experience in dealing with North Korea, met President Moon Jae-in after arriving in Seoul late on Wednesday from Tokyo on her second stop on a tour of Asia.

North Korea has rebuffed proposals from the new U.S. administration of President Joe Biden for talks, raising new doubts about prospects for pressing it to give up its nuclear weapon and missile programmes.

“We are hoping that North Korea will respond to our offers of talks at an early stage,” Moon’s office quoted Sherman as telling the South Korean president, who has also been trying to encourage negotiations.

Sherman said she would discuss the issue with China when she visits there from Sunday, the office added.

Moon asked Sherman to try to re-engage with North Korea, stressing the allies’ shared goals of complete denuclearisation and peace on the Korean peninsula, which were reaffirmed in talks with Biden in May.

Sherman called for more cooperation on other issues including climate change, Moon’s office said.

Sherman is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun on Friday before leaving for Mongolia.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Robert Birsel)