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N. Korea remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures: State Dept.

All News 04:10 June 17, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, June 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea continues to remain unresponsive to U.S. overtures for dialogue, a state department spokesperson said Thursday.

Ned Price also reaffirmed U.S. commitment to diplomatically engage with North Korea without any preconditions.

"You heard from Secretary (Antony) Blinken when he was standing next to his South Korean counterpart earlier this week that our approach is to make clear to the DPRK that we harbor no hostile intent. We seek diplomacy and dialogue in order to advance the prospects for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the department press secretary said in a daily press briefing.

"You also heard him (Blinken) saying we have not heard a response from the DPRK. That was a few days ago. There has been no changes to that," he added.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

State Department Press Secretary Ned Price is seen answering questions in a daily press briefing at the state department in Washington on June 16, 2022 in this image captured from the department's website. (Yonhap)

In a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minster Park Jin after their meeting here on Monday, the top U.S. diplomat urged Pyongyang to engage in dialogue, saying the U.S. has "absolutely no hostile intent" toward the North.

North Korea has avoided denuclearization negotiations since late 2019.

The call for Pyongyang to engage in diplomacy comes amid growing concerns that the recalcitrant state may soon conduct a nuclear test, which, if conducted, will mark its seventh test.

North Korea last conducted a nuclear test in September 2017.

The country has launched at least 31 ballistic missiles this year in 18 rounds of missile tests, already marking the largest number of ballistic missiles fired by North Korea in a single year, according to U.S. officials.

The South Korean foreign minister has said the North appears to have completed "all preparations" for a nuclear test and that only thing left before an actual test may be a political decision.

Blinken said the U.S. and its allies are preparing for all contingencies that he said could include "short and longer-term adjustments to our military posture" if necessary.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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