Washington: US President Joe Biden has announced the appointment of a special envoy for North Korea after he had his maiden talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In.
“I'm pleased to announce that Ambassador Sung Kim, a career diplomat and with deep policy expertise, will serve as the US Special Envoy for the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea),” Biden told reporters on Thursday at a joint press briefing along with the visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
DPRK is popularly called North Korea.
Biden told reporters that his team consulted closely with President Moon's team throughout the process of his Administration’s DPRK review.
“We both are deeply concerned about the situation. Our two nations also share a willingness to engage diplomatically with the DPRK, to take pragmatic steps that will reduce tensions as we move toward our ultimate goal of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Today, I affirm to President Moon that the United States will proceed in close consultation with the Republic of Korea on our strategy and our approach,” he said.
President Moon said that the most urgent common task that the two countries must undertake is achieving complete denuclearisation and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“Recently, the Biden administration concluded its DPRK policy review, building on past agreements including the Singapore joint statement, while taking a calibrated and practical approach to seeking diplomacy with North Korea,” he said.
“It is indeed a welcome direction of the Biden administration's North Korea policy. During the course of the review, our two countries closely coordinated with each other in lockstep, which I note with much appreciation,” he added.
Moon welcomed Biden's appointment of Ambassador Sung Kim as Special Representative for North Korea Policy.
“This reflects the firm commitment of the US for exploring diplomacy and its readiness for dialogue with North Korea. I have high expectations all the more, as such a man of high calibre with expertise in the Korean Peninsula issues has been appointed,” he said.
The South Korean president said he and Biden discussed the dialogues based on commitments made between the two Koreas and between the US and North Korea are essential for making a peaceful Korean Peninsula.
“This is the belief that we were able to reaffirm,” he said.
“Moreover, President Biden also expressed his support for the inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation. Under close cooperation with the US, we will work to facilitate progress in inter-Korean relations, so as to achieve a virtuous cycle with US-DPRK dialogue,” he said.
“Moving forward, Korea and the United States will continue close communication while exploring our North Korea approach through dialogue and diplomacy. On that, I expect a positive response from North Korea,” he added.
Responding to a question, Biden said their goal remains complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
“We want to make practical progress and increase the security of the United States for the United States and our allies. We closely studied what others have tried, and what worked and what hasn't worked. We're under no illusions how difficult this is, none whatsoever,” he said.
Observing that the past four administrations have not achieved the objective, he said it is an incredibly difficult objective.
“As we move forward, we're going to stay in very close coordination with our friends and our partners in the region, including President Moon. And we fully recognise that this is about our collective security in the Indo-Pacific region. And so, total denuclearisation is our objective, and remains so,” Biden said.