Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea who has been nominated to become the next Deputy Secretary of State, suggested the resumption of denuclearization talks to the North on Monday, saying the United States does not have “a deadline” and “We are here and you know how to reach us.” He also warned against the North that is ratcheting up its rhetoric as its end-of-year deadline nears.
“Let me speak directly to our counterparts in North Korea. It is time for us to do our jobs. Let's get this done,” Biegun said, speaking at a press conference after a meeting with South Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator. “We have offered any number of creative ways to proceed with feasible steps and flexibility in our negotiations to reach, balanced agreements that meet the objectives of both sides.” He also emphasized that “The United States will not give up.”
However, Biegun condemned North Korea for increasing tensions by threatening to send a “Christmas gift” and carrying out ICBM tests. He warned that any North Korean provocation in the coming days would be "most unhelpful in achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," adding that "It is not yet too late." He will leave for Japan on Tuesday but will leave some members of the U.S. delegation to contact Pyongyang if it responds.
Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in asked Biegun to continue his efforts to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula at Cheong Wa Dae on Monday.
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