US urges NKorea not to conduct missile tests and to resume talks

On Sunday, a senior U.S. diplomat urged North Korea not to conduct further missile tests and to resume nuclear diplomacy. This was just days after North Korea launched its first underwater-launched missile in nearly two years.

US urges NKorea not to conduct missile tests and to resume talks

After meeting with South Korean officials, Sung Kim, U.S. Envoy to North Korea, discussed the recent missile tests by North Korea and nuclear negotiations between Washington, Pyongyang, and South Korea.

Kim said to reporters that he called on the DPRK "to cease these provocations, other destabilizing actions, and instead, engage into dialogue." Kim was referring to North Korea as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He stated that "we remain prepared to meet with DPRK without conditions and we have made it clear that the United States has no hostile intent towards DPRK."

In its fifth round in weapons tests, North Korea fired a ballistic missile it had developed from a submarine last Tuesday.

Officials from South Korea said that the missile was still in its early stages of development. This was the North's first underwater-launched missile test since October 2019 and the most publicized since President Joe Biden assumed office in January.

Submarine-launched missiles are more difficult to detect ahead and could provide North Korea with a secondary, counterattack capability.

Multiple resolutions of the United Nations Security Council prohibiting North Korean activity in the region of ballistic missiles violated Tuesday's launch. Kim stated that the test is a threat to international security and is "concerning" and counterproductive to efforts to promote peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Noh Kyuduk, Kim's South Korean counterpart said they had an "in-depth discussion" about Seoul's push to have a symbolic declaration to end Korea's 1950-53 Korean War. This would be a way to bring about peace. Noh stated that he and Kim also agreed to discuss North Korea's concerns once negotiations are reopened.

Since early 2019, the U.S.-led talks to end North Korea's nuclear programme have been mostly stalled. A summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un was canceled due to disagreements over U.S. sanctions against North Korea.

According to the Biden administration, it has stated repeatedly that it is ready to meet North Korea without conditions. North Korea insists that a return to negotiations is contingent on the U.S. abandoning what it calls hostile policies, referring to the regular military drills and sanctions between Washington and Seoul.

North Korea had tested many other weapons systems in the six weeks prior to the launch of its submarine missile. This included its longest-range cruise missile, and a hypersonic weapon currently in development.

These weapons could put allies South Korea, Japan and the United States within striking distance. Experts believe that North Korea could also test a missile capable of reaching the American homeland in the coming weeks to increase its pressure on the United States.

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