Wednesday, 21 April, 2021


USA outreach to North Korea getting no answer - worldwide

The captured image from the website of US online news network C Span shows White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaking in a White House press briefing White House says U.S. has reached out to North Korea, but received no response
Kristine Garrett | 16 March, 2021, 09:09

The news came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin departed for a four-day trip to Japan and South Korea - after which Austin will continue on to India and Blinken will stop in Anchorage, Alaska, where he and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with Chinese representatives on Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday confirmed the news agency AFP's reports that the Biden administration's outreach efforts toward North Korea have been met with silence. "We have reached out", Psaki said, noting that "diplomacy is always our goal". To date, the official said, "we have not received any response from Pyongyang".

The White House said on Monday that North Korea remains unresponsive to USA calls for dialogue, reaffirming the US stance to continue diplomacy on North Korean issues. The review is "evaluating all options to address the increased threats" posed by the North, according to the State Department.

This is the first explicit reference, without naming it, to the new U.S. president on behalf of this nuclear-equipped country, more than four months after Joe Biden was elected to succeed Donald Trump.

Kim Yo Jong continued this trend, with a large chunk of her statement devoted to slamming South Korea over the exercises.

"That's just a non-starter for the North Koreans", said Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

He insisted, "We have been suspended for more than a year of negotiations with North Korea".

North Koreans see several reasons why they should not denuclearize based on recent history, including situations in Iraq, Libya and more recently Iran. By subscribing, you can help us get the story right. "It would have to be long term and not the Libya model of complete denuclearization upfront before we give them anything they want".

Trump had refused North Korean entreaties to relax sanctions against Pyongyang unless Kim took steps to dismantle his nuclear program, which he refused to do.

North Korea condemns such training that it described as ready for an invasion. "We continuously urge the North to resolve the issues through talks".

Narang said that the Biden officials' insistence on adopting the same emphasis on North Korean denuclearization "likely isn't helping, when you insist on something they've rejected flat out of hand". Later, North Korea also unveiled a new submarine-launched ballistic missile at a military parade. BUT by adding that the regime will keep an eye on the South's behavior and attitude, she did leave a room for improvement of inter-Korean ties.

However, Kim criticized Seoul and Washington's argument that the combined exercise was "reduced" in size and noted that the North opposes the joint military drills in itself and "never argued about their scale or form". "That would be a bad sign for the future of any US-North Korea diplomacy".

Mr Biden's meeting with the Quad came less than a week after United States and South Korean negotiators overcame years of contentious discussions under Mr Trump to reach a tentative deal on paying for the American troop presence in South Korea.

Efforts at working level talks between North Korean and Trump administration officials were largely rebuffed by Pyongyang, and the few meetings that did occur yielded no tangible results.

And the official travels in the region, the military exercises and Biden's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in April could still push Pyongyang toward some sort of provocation.

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