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Appointment of U.S. point man on N. Korea signals readiness for dialogue with Pyongyang: Sherman

North Korea 18:10 June 02, 2021

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- The United States' recent appointment of a point man on North Korea signals its readiness for dialogue, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday, voicing hope for Pyongyang to "take us up on that possibility."

In a telephone conference with reporters, Sherman made the remarks, referring to President Joe Biden's announcement last month of career diplomat Sung Kim as special representative for the DPRK, the acronym of the North's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Sherman also made clear that Kim, who has been serving as acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, will double as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia while carrying out the special representative role.

"President Biden just announced ... that he had named as special representative or special envoy for DPRK talks should they get underway, Ambassador Sung Kim, who is currently our ambassador to Indonesia and has been the acting assistant secretary for East Asia Pacific region, but will be returning to Indonesia full time," Sherman said.

"And this was another signal that we are ready and prepared to have dialogue with the DPRK, and we hope that they will take us up on that possibility," she added.

The announcement on Kim's appointment came after the U.S. completed its months-long review of policy on the North and said it would pursue a calibrated, practical approach towards the goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Sherman said that the U.S. has "made our policy known to the DPRK." It remains unknown whether she meant Washington had let the North know about its new policy through its public statements or Washington had directly contacted Pyongyang to explain the policy.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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