The United States has drawn a clear line with regard to North Korea, which has expressed intentions of holding talks with Washington, saying that “denuclearization must be the result of any dialogue with North Korea.”
“We will see if Pyongyang’s message today, that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization. In the meantime, the United States and the world must continue to make clear that North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are a dead end,” said White House press secretary in a statement published on Sunday (local time), apparently as an official response to the comment made by Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of North Korea, who led the high-level delegation to the South to attend the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
“President Donald J. Trump’s Administration is committed to achieving the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The United States, our Olympic Host the Republic of Korea, and the international community broadly agree that denuclearization must be the result of any dialogue with North Korea,” the White House said in a statement. “The maximum pressure campaign must continue until North Korea denuclearizes. As President Trump has said, there is a brighter path available for North Korea if it chooses denuclearization.”
Meanwhile, U.S. media outlets have remained doubtful about Pyongyang’s real intention behind mentioning dialogue with Washington. The New York Times has pointed out that “Mr. Moon’s office did not reveal whether North Korea had attached any preconditions for starting talks with the United States like the suspension of joint South Korea-United States military exercises.” David Straub, former head of the Office of Korean Affairs at the U.S. State Department, said that “there were rising frustrations in Washington that Mr. Moon was ‘apparently working at cross purposes with the Trump administration’s effort to apply maximum pressure on North Korea.’”
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