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U.S. official says N.K. must return to diplomatic engagement

All News 06:11 July 24, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, July 23 (Yonhap) -- A senior U.S. official has emphasized the need for North Korea to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and return to diplomatic engagement, the State Department said Thursday.

David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, raised the issue during a videoconference Monday with senior officials from member states of the East Asia Summit, the department said in a press release.

"Assistant Secretary Stilwell encouraged EAS countries to address pressing regional security challenges," it said. "These include Beijing's imposition of draconian national security legislation in Hong Kong, which flouts (China's) commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984; the Rohingya crisis and escalating violence in Rakhine state; and the DPRK, which must abide by U.N. Security Council Resolutions and return to diplomatic engagement."

DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

This Reuters file photo shows U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell. (Yonhap)

This Reuters file photo shows U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell. (Yonhap)

Stilwell was referring to U.N. resolutions that ban North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests and impose sanctions on Pyongyang over its weapons programs.

The call for diplomatic engagement comes as denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled following the collapse of the February 2019 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"The Assistant Secretary reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific and support for sovereignty and a rules-based international order during the virtual meeting," the department said.

South Korea was represented at the meeting by Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gunn.

Kim called for international support for South Korea's push to achieve denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul's foreign ministry said earlier.

The EAS brings together 18 nations across the Asia-Pacific region, also including Australia, China, India and Russia.


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