In association with
Logo Logo Logo

South’s Moon hopes to restart N. Korean diplomacy with Biden

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 10, 2021. South Korea’s leader said Monday he’ll use his upcoming summit with President Joe Biden to push to restart diplomacy with North Korea, saying that Biden favors a diplomatic, phased approach to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. (Choi Jae-gu/Yonhap via AP)

By HYUNG-JIN KIM, SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s leader said Monday he’ll use his upcoming summit with President Joe Biden to push to restart diplomacy with North Korea, saying that Biden favors a diplomatic, phased approach to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.

The White House recently said officials completed a review of North Korea policy and suggested the Biden administration would seek a middle ground between Donald Trump’s “grand bargain” and Barack Obama’s “strategic patience” approaches as a way to curb the North’s nuclear ambitions.

In a nationally televised news conference, President Moon Jae-in said he welcomes the direction of the Biden administration’s North Korea policy, which he said was finalized after consultations with South Korea. Moon said Biden’s North Korea policy aims to achieve “the Korean Peninsula’s complete denuclearization through diplomacy with a flexible, gradual and practical approach.”

The Biden administration hasn’t disclosed details of its North Korea policy review. But administration officials have signaled they are trying to set the stage for incremental progress, in which denuclearization steps by the North would be met with corresponding actions, including sanctions relief, rather than a Trump-style push for an immediate, comprehensive deal through a leader-to-leader summit.

Moon said when he meets Biden for their first summit talks in Washington on May 21, he’ll try to bolster the bilateral military alliance, boost policy coordination on North Korea and find ways to resume stalled talks between Washington and Pyongyang and between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Moon, whose single five-year term is to end next May, said he’ll focus on establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula during his final year in office.

“I will not be pressed by time or become impatient during the remainder of my term. However, if there is an opportunity to restart the clock of peace and advance the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, I will do everything I can,” Moon said. “I look forward to North Korea responding positively.”

Moon, who champions a greater reconciliation with North Korea, once shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to facilitate the now-dormant nuclear diplomacy between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Trump. Inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation programs also flourished.

But the Kim-Trump diplomacy eventually fell apart during their second summit in Vietnam in early 2019 due to wrangling over U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea. Pyongyang later suspended communications with Seoul and halted all major joint cooperation programs.

Kim’s government hasn’t made an official response to the Biden administration’s North Korea policy review. But his Foreign Ministry last week warned Washington of “a very grave situation” while criticizing Biden for calling North Korea’s nuclear program a serious security threat in his address to Congress.

In January, Kim said the fate of ties between North Korea and the United States would depend on whether Washington would abandon what it considers a hostile policy on Pyongyang. North Korea has long wanted the United States to lift sanctions on it and provide a security guarantee.

Comment here !
Related News

KATHMANDU;- The International Day of Peace is being observed across the country today. The UN General Assembly had passed the

KATHMANDU;- Nepali Ambassador to the US Dr Yubraj Khatiwada reminded that Nepal’s constitution had embraced democratic values along with citizen’s

WASHINGTON, (AFP):- The Biden administration announced Monday that it would double the number of refugees it will accept in the

By LISA MASCARO and KEVIN FREKING, WASHINGTON (AP):- Democratic congressional leaders backed by the White House announced Monday they would