US envoy urges N. Korea to end 'provocations', accept offer of talks

By Reuters   October 23, 2021 | 11:53 pm PT
US envoy urges N. Korea to end 'provocations', accept offer of talks
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, Sung Kim and Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, arrive to attend a briefing after their meeting at a hotel in Seoul, South Korea October 24, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Ahn Young-joon
North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests were "concerning and counterproductive" for efforts to reduce tensions, the U.S. envoy for North Korea said on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul, Special Representative Sung Kim said the United States is committed to exploring "sustained and substantive diplomacy" with North Korea.

"Our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Kim said. "That’s why Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile test, one of several in the past six weeks, is concerning and counterproductive to making progress toward a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula."

Pyongyang so far has rejected U.S. overtures, accusing Washington and Seoul of talking diplomacy while ratcheting up tensions with their own military activities.

On Thursday, the North said the United States was overreacting to a submarine-launched ballistic missile test that it called self-defensive, and questioned the sincerity of Washington's offers of talks, warning of consequences.

That launch violated multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to North Korea's neighbors and the international community, Kim said.

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