Asia/Pacific

US diplomat urges North Korea to halt missile tests, resume talks

The senior U.S. envoy to North Korea, Sung Kim, called on the isolated country to cease missile tests and to return to nuclear negotiations.

"We call on the DPRK to cease these provocations and other destabilizing activities, and instead, engage in dialogue," Kim said to reporters following a meeting with South Korean officials to discuss Pyongyang's recent missile tests, The Associated Press reported.

"We remain ready to meet with the DPRK without preconditions and we have made clear that the United States harbors no hostile intent towards the DPRK," added Kim.

Last Tuesday, the South Korean military reported that North Korea had fired a "possible submarine missile" into the sea near Sinpo, a North Korean city on the country's eastern coast on the Sea of Japan. The AP noted that this test violated numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea from any activity relating to ballistic missiles.

Kim said these tests were "concerning and counterproductive" to efforts to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, said that South Korean officials and Kim had also discussed the push for a symbolic end to the Korean War, which ended in an armistice agreement in 1953 but without a peace treaty.

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