U.S., S. Korea mulling ways to engage with N. Korea: Amb. Lee
By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States are reviewing steps to induce North Korea back to dialogue, South Korean Ambassador to the United States Lee Soo-hyuck said Tuesday.
Lee, however, noted the North continues to remain unresponsive to U.S. overtures.
"We are deeply concerned about North Korea firing a series of missiles at the start of the year, and are urging North Korea to refrain from taking additional actions that escalate tension and return to dialogue and diplomacy," the top South Korean diplomat in the U.S. said in a meeting with reporters here.
"The U.S. is still awaiting North Korea's response," he added. "South Korea and the U.S. are examining ways to bring North Korea to the dialogue table."
Lee's remarks come after South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met last week in Hawaii to discuss ways to engage with North Korea during bilateral and trilateral talks that also involved their Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi.
Pyongyang conducted seven rounds of missile launches in January alone, marking the largest number of missile tests in a single month.
The flurry of launches included the firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, the longest range missile fired by the North since November 2017.
Following his meetings in Honolulu, Chung said South Korea has proposed new ways to engage with North Korea but that the U.S. needs time to review the steps that he said may be unveiled at a later date.
Lee said Seoul and Washington will continue to maintain a high level of communication on North Korea and other major issues.
Earlier reports said U.S. President Joe Biden is considering visiting Seoul in the first half of the year when he travels to the region for the second Quad leaders summit.
(LEAD) S. Korea fully restores bilateral military information-sharing pact with Japan
Major N. Korean websites offline as of Tuesday morning
S. Korea, U.S. set for 'largest-ever' live-fire drills to mark alliance's 70th anniv.
(LEAD) LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault meets with department store executives over partnerships
Son Heung-min hoping S. Korea will build on positive World Cup momentum
Five years after its full nuke armament claim, N. Korea's threat becomes real, further complicated
(News Focus) S. Korea grapples with calls for nuclear armament
Talk of 'normalizing' GSOMIA raises hope, skepticism around Seoul-Tokyo ties
S. Korea, U.S., Japan close ranks amid growing N.K. threats
N. Korea says month-old virus crisis under control, but skepticism lingers