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U.S. wants to see stability of Korean Peninsula: Pentagon spokesman

All News 05:04 March 25, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, March 24 (Yonhap) -- The United States opposes North Korea taking any actions that could raise tension on the Korean Peninsula, the spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense said Wednesday, amid reports that the North may be preparing to stage military provocations.

John Kirby also called on the North to denuclearize.

"We want to see North Korea denuclearize. We want to see stability and security on the peninsula and denuclearization is a key part of that," the Pentagon spokesman said at a press briefing.

"Obviously, we call on Pyongyang not to do things that would make things less stable on the peninsula," he added.

His remarks came after sources in Seoul said South Korea is closely monitoring possible signs of provocation by the North, noting Pyongyang is deploying multiple rocket launchers on a western island just north of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border between the divided Koreas.

Kirby said he was not aware of such reports and that he would not discuss intelligence reports from the podium.

North Korea launched two cruise missiles off its west coast on Sunday.

While senior administration officials here said the missile launches did not violate any U.N. Security Council resolution, many believe they could be the first of many to follow.

Pyongyang has not responded to U.S. overtures that began in mid-February, according to U.S. officials, while its first vice foreign minister says the North will continue to ignore U.S. entreaties until Washington gives up its hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

The Biden administration has been undergoing a comprehensive review of its North Korea policy, which it said will offer a new approach to dealing with the North.

A senior U.S. official said on Tuesday that the North Korea policy review is now in its final stages and that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will host his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington next week to explain and discuss the outcome of the review.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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