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US ready to meet N Korean officials ‘anywhere, anytime’

US ready to meet 
N Korean officials ‘anywhere, anytime’

dpa
Seoul
The United States on Monday reiterated its readiness to hold talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme without laying down any preconditions.
“We continue to hope that [North Korea] will respond positively to our outreach and our offer to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions,” US special envoy Sung Kim said in the South Korean capital Seoul.
Sung Kim made the comments after holding talks with South Korea and Japan’s chief negotiators on North Korea.
Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have not made progress since a failed summit in Vietnam in 2019 between then-president Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.
Since US President Joe Biden took office, North Korea has appeared to adopt a wait-and-see approach. Kim said last week his isolated country must be “prepared for both dialogue and confrontation” with the United States.
“Hopefully, Chairman Kim’s reference to dialogue indicates that we will get a positive response soon,” the US envoy said, adding that in the meantime Washington would continue to implement the UN Security Council’s sanctions against North Korea.
Biden called Kim a “thug” last year, before he took office in January, but is pursuing what the White House calls a “calibrated, practical approach” that is open to diplomacy with the rogue regime.

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