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U.S. supports S. Korean initiative to engage N. Korea: State Dept.

North Korea 04:43 August 16, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- The United States strongly supports South Korea's efforts to restart dialogue with North Korea and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, a state department spokesperson said Monday.

Department Press Secretary Ned Price also said the U.S. will continue to closely work with Seoul to that end.

"We strongly support the ROK's aim to open a path for serious and sustained diplomacy with Pyongyang," Price said in a press briefing, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

State Department Press Secretary Ned Price is seen answering questions in a press briefing in Washington Aug. 15, 2022 in this image captured from the department's website. (Yonhap)

The remarks came after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol offered to help "significantly improve" North Korea's economy if and when Pyongyang takes denuclearization steps.

"Our shared goal -- shared with the ROK, as well as our other allies and partners -- is the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and we will continue to coordinate closely with the Yoon administration to this end," the department spokesperson said.

North Korea has stayed away from denuclearization talks since late 2019.

Price urged Pyongyang to return to dialogue, saying the country has "not demonstrated any indication that they are interested in diplomacy or dialogue."

"We believe that diplomacy can bring practical, pragmatic steps that the United States could take, the DPRK could take, that our allies and partners around the world could take towards that ultimate goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.

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

bdk@yna.co.kr
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