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(LEAD) U.S. nuke envoy voices hope for 'positive response' from N. Korea

North Korea 10:52 June 21, 2021

(ATTN: CHANGES photo, headline; UPDATES throughout)
By Song Sang-ho and Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- The new U.S. special representative for North Korea said Monday he looks forward to Pyongyang giving a "positive response soon" to Washington's dialogue offer, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent remarks that Pyongyang should be ready for both dialogue and confrontation.

Ambassador Sung Kim made the remarks during a meeting with Seoul's top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, in Seoul, saying Washington will also be prepared for either dialogue or confrontation.

"We will be prepared for either, because you know, we are still waiting to hear back from Pyongyang ... proposal for a meeting," he said. "Hopefully Chairman Kim's reference to dialogue indicates that we will get a positive response soon."

During the four-day party meeting that ended Friday, the North Korean leader called for his country to be prepared for both dialogue and confrontation, but more importantly the latter, and stressed the need for the "stable control" of the Korean Peninsula situation.

In an interview with ABC News, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called Kim's comments an "interesting signal," saying, "We will wait to see whether they are followed up with any kind of more direct communication to us about a potential path forward."

Following the talks, Kim and Noh scheduled to join a trilateral meeting involving their Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi.

This photo, taken June 19, 2021, shows the new U.S. special representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, arriving at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Kim, who doubles as ambassador to Indonesia, is accompanied by Deputy Special Representative Jung Pak and a representative of the National Security Council.

Kim arrived in Seoul on Saturday for a five-day visit.

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