Door remains open for N Korea's return to nuclear talks: Biegun

Last Updated: Tue, May 14, 2019 23:32 hrs

[South Korea], May 10 (ANI): The door for North Korea's return to negotiations remains open, said the US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, during a courtesy call on South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha here on Friday.

His comments come despite North Korea carrying out two rounds of projectiles launches, within the span of a week. This has cast a shadow on negotiations aimed at breaking the impasse in denuclearisation, according to Yonhap News Agency.

"While assessing (the current point) as a very crucial juncture to continue communication and cooperation between the South and the United States, Representative Biegun said that the door for North Korea's return to negotiations remains open," South Korea's Foreign Ministry quoted Biegun as saying.

Seoul is undertaking efforts to provide food aid to the reclusive nation in a bid to give fresh impetus to denuclearisation talks, which came to a standstill following the breakdown of the second US-North Korea summit in Vietnam.

The South Korean Foreign Minister expressed concerns regarding Pyongyang's Thursday launches, adding that they are not "helpful at all" for efforts to improve inter-Korean ties and reduce military tension.

"(Kang) stressed that it is important to have serious dialogue among the South, North and U.S. for the complete denuclearisation (of the peninsula) and the establishment of lasting peace," the ministry stated.

Apart from this Biegun held a string of meetings with South Korean officials here on Friday, including a joint working group with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon.

The initial plan to let the press cover Biegun's opening remarks was cancelled in the wake of the projectiles launches. The Special Representative also called off a press availability after the working group session, reflecting the underlying tensions as representatives from the two countries sit down for talks. (ANI)