International

Top US diplomat calls for 'sustained and substantive dialogue' with North Korea

The United State's representative to the United Nations (U.N.) called on Wednesday for "sustained and substantive dialogue" with North Korea over the country's denuclearization.

"Our position remains clear: the DPRK must abide by the Security Council resolutions and it is time to engage in sustained and substantive dialogue toward the goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Wednesday.

"We have offered to meet the DPRK officials, without any preconditions, and we have made clear that we hold no hostile intent toward the DPRK. This does not serve the people of North Korea," Thomas-Greenfield said. "We are committed to working closely with the international community to reduce tensions and maintain peace and stability in the region." 

Thomas-Greenfield, however, also rebuked North Korea for its missile launches, the latest of which occurred on Tuesday. Over the last few weeks, North Korea has steadily continued to launch missiles.

"The United States and many other Council Members have condemned the launch, which violated multiple Security Council resolutions," Thomas-Greenfield said of the Tuesday missile launch, which appeared to possibly come from a submarine in the Sea of Japan, known in South Korea as the East Sea.

"We should not look at this most recent launch in isolation. It is the latest in a series of reckless provocations," she said. 

The ambassador also noted that the implementation of sanctions against North Korea needed to "ramp up." The country has been under sanctions by the United Nations for 15 years, according to Reuters.

North Korea has also signaled a desire to return to international negotiations to have those sanctions rolled back but has said the U.S. must relax its "hostile" posture toward the country.  

"The successive U.S. administrations have repeatedly expressed their intentions, both in verbal and written forms, that they had no hostile intent towards the DPRK, advocating dialogue with us," said North Korea's ambassador to the U.N., Kim Song, in a statement last month. 

"But as can be seen in reality, all of those were nothing more than flowery words to cover up their hostile policy," Kim said.

The Hill has reached out to North Korea's mission to the United Nations for comment on the U.S.'s latest entreaty. 

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