South Korea urges North to abandon nuclear weapons, allow family visits

South Korea urges North to abandon nuclear weapons, allow family visits”

North Korea's ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament says his country will certainly respond if the United States ignores efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and chooses provocation and confrontation.

In addition to his key role in the so-called "New York channel" talks between North Korean UN diplomats and the US, Yun met past year with a top North Korean official in Norway to secure the release of American student Otto Warmbier.

The administration of US President Donald Trump should create the "right conditions" to hold talks with nuclear-armed North Korea, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper has said. A mood of peace has been growing on the Korean Peninsula since the North sent athletes to the Feb 9-25 Winter Olympics and invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang for what could be the third inter-Korean summit.

If Washington can provide such reassurances to Seoul, "that gives us more scope to really go after the North Koreans", Hill said. His departure threatens to handicap the Trump administration's aspirations to use diplomacy to solve the North Korean nuclear threat. Pyongyang conducted its biggest and most recent nuclear bomb test in September and its largest and latest missile test in late November. There are also signs that Pyongyang intends to buy time to complete nuclear and missile programs.

CBS quoted Yun as saying there were no policy differences "per se", but officials he has dealt with in South Korea told Reuters he had appeared increasingly frustrated with conflicting views within the administration on how to deal with the crisis.

"Anything less and we'll be getting played", Przystup tells VOA, stressing that the only permanent end-state of negotiations has to be denuclearization.

Following North Korea's talks offer, the U.S. responded by saying that the conditions should be right to kick-start the talks process.

Instead, North Korea must respond to the demands of the global community for it to halt its banned weapons programmes, Wood said.

Over the weekend, North Korean indicated in a meeting with South Koreans that they are ready for talks with the U.S.

But no sooner had the North and the United States declared their willingness to talk to each other - something they have in fact done before - than it became clear that the two sides remained stubbornly far apart.

North Korea, however, said in a statement Sunday that it considers "any type of blockade an act of war against us". That's my attitude. We'll see what happens.

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein says it isn't accurate to say there are differences in approaches to diplomacy between the White House and State Department on North Korea. Though he has said he will stay on until a replacement is named, five of the six undersecretary posts - the department's third-highest-ranking positions - now need to be filled.

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