By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, May 19 (Yonhap) -- The United States' goal is to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday, ahead of an upcoming summit this week between the leaders of South Korea and the United States.
The summit between President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, is expected to partly focus on ways to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.
"When it comes to DPRK. I can't underscore enough that our goal remains clear -- that our goal is a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Jalina Porter, principal deputy spokesperson, said in a telephonic press briefing. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Moon is set to arrive here later in the day for his first in-person meeting with Biden, slated for Friday.
The Moon-Biden summit comes after the U.S. completed its monthslong review of its policy on North Korea, which it says will take "calibrated, practical" steps to rid the reclusive regime of its nuclear arsenal.
"Biden and President Moon will also certainly share views on North Korea, including a discussion of the U.S. North Korea policy, and ensure that U.S. and ROK strategies towards the DPRK proceed in lockstep," Kurt Campbell, White House policy coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said earlier in an interview with Yonhap News Agency.
Porter refused to get ahead of the summit when asked if the leaders will also discuss the issue of North Korean human rights, but said the department will provide any information as it becomes available.
Denuclearization talks with North Korea have stalled since February 2019, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's meeting with then U.S. President Donald Trump ended without a deal in Hanoi.
Kim agreed to completely denuclearize his country in his first meeting with Trump, held in Singapore in June 2018.
Campbell says the new U.S. policy on the North will build on the Singapore agreement and others to achieve its ultimate goal of completely denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea has no nuclear weapons.
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