A top US envoy criticized Pyongyang’s demands as “hostile” and “unnecessary” as its end-of-year deadline for new concessions approaches.
Stephen Biegun called for fresh negotiations on Monday over North Korea’s nuclear program.
The special representative for North Korea spoke alongside his South Korean counterpart, Lee Doo Hoon. Biegun then met up with South Korean President Moon Jae-In.
“It is time for us to do our jobs — let’s get this done,” Biegun said. “We are fully aware of the strong potential for North Korea to conduct a major provocation in the days ahead. To say the least, such an action will be most unhelpful in achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Directly addressing “our counterparts in North Korea”, Biegun warned, “It is time for us to do our jobs. Let’s get this done. We are here and you know how to reach us.”
US envoy Stephen Biegun met with several members of President Moon Jae-In’s leadership, including Lee Do-Hoon (pictured), the special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs
End of year deadline
Pyongyang has insisted Washington make an acceptable offer by the end of the year, saying that it will adopt a “new way.”
However, the US diplomat called out North Korea for its series of announcements in recent weeks, telling reporters in Seoul, “We have heard them all,” and that the US would not accept the concessions deadline, urging Pyongyang instead to open the door for further talks.
North Korea launched a number of weapons in recent weeks, with Japan having described some of them as ballistic missiles.
North Korea is banned from testing such weapons under UN sanctions. Earlier this month, North Korea conducted a series of static tests at its Sohae rocket facility.
The Washington envoy said Pyongyang’s tone “towards the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and our friends in Europe have been so hostile and negative and so unnecessary.”
“The US does not have a deadline, we have a goal,” Biegun added.
mvb/aw (AFP, dpa)