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U.S. remains consistently open to dialogue with N. Korea: Psaki

North Korea 06:05 October 21, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- The United States remains open to dialogue with North Korea, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

Her remarks come after North Korea announced a successful test launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that some believe may be a "game changer."

"(It has) consistently been our view. So we've stated our openness to having those discussions with North Korea for months now," Psaki said in a press briefing onboard the Air Force One en route to Pennsylvania where President Joe Biden was later scheduled to deliver a speech on his economic agenda.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is seen answering questions in a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on Oct. 19, 2021 in this image captured from the website of the White House. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

North Korea on Wednesday (Seoul time) reported that it has successfully test fired a new SLBM the day before.

SLBMs are considered to reflect an increased threat to the U.S. as they may require less distance to reach the mainland U.S.

Many, however, believe North Korean SLBMs do not pose an immediate threat to the U.S. as the impoverished North is said to have only outdated, diesel-powered submarines that are easily detected.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command earlier said the latest North Korean missile did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory.

Tuesday's missile launch marked the eighth known missile test by the North this year. The country also test launched what it claims to be a new hypersonic missile late last month.

The U.S. has repeatedly condemned North Korea's missile tests, but said it remains committed to engaging with the North in dialogue and diplomacy.

"These launches also underscore the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy. Our offer remains to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions," the White House press secretary said earlier.

Pyongyang has maintained a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests since late 2017.

North Korea staged its sixth and last nuclear test in September 2017.


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