WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) — The United States and South Korea remain committed to advancing their efforts to denuclearize North Korea and establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue with the communist North, the countries’ top nuclear envoys said Monday.
“The United States and the Republic of Korea remain fully committed to diplomacy as a way to reach an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula, to achieve denuclearization, to bring about a brighter future for all of Korean People and to bring about normalcy in the United States’ relationship with the DPRK,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun told reporters, referring to the two Koreas by their official names — the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
His remarks came shortly after he and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, held a meeting here.
The U.S. diplomat expressed his appreciation to Lee for what he called “creative ideas.”
“But we cannot do it by ourselves. The U.S and ROK cannot do it by ourselves. We need DPRK engaged and we remain open to that discussion with them when they are prepared,” he said.
North Korea has stayed away from any serious dialogue with South Korea and the United States since leader Kim Jong-un’s second bilateral summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended without a deal in February 2019.
The first Trump-Kim summit was in Singapore in June 2018.
Biegun said he and Lee discussed many other issues relevant to the Korean Peninsula, including the recent killing of a South Korean maritime official by the communist North.
He said it was a tragic incident that was “deeply disturbing to the Korean people and certainly to the United States,” but again highlighted the importance of diplomacy.
“But we also talked about constructive ways to continue advance our diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula, together,” said Biegun.