US State Department press secretary Ned Price is seen answering questions during a press briefing in Washington on Monday, in this image captured from the department’s website. (Yonhap)
WASHINGTON — South Korea’s offer to help North Korea in return for denuclearization is entirely consistent with the United States’ plan to rid the North of its nuclear ambitions, a spokesperson said Monday. from the State Department.
Ned Price also called on Pyongyang to respond positively to Seoul’s outreach.
“We have been clear about our support for the bold or ambitious plan that the South Korean administration has presented,” the department’s press secretary said at a daily press briefing.
“It is a plan that is entirely consistent with our approach to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missile program in that it sees the potential for practical and incremental advances towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Price added.
DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of the North.
The remarks come after Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, rejected South Korea’s offer to help improve North Korea’s economy in return for denuclearization.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol offered last week to launch aid programs for the impoverished North as long as the country shows its commitment to denuclearization.
Kim Yo-jong dismissed the offer as absurd, adding that the North would never sit face to face with the Yoon administration to discuss its denuclearization.
Price said the United States and its allies would continue to reach out to Pyongyang for dialogue.
“We have seen periods of DPRK engagement. We have seen periods of DPRK provocation. It is very clear that we are in a period that has been characterized by the latter,” he said. he declares.
“We will continue to be clear about what we are prepared to do and what we collectively seek to achieve with our South Korean allies, with our Japanese allies, and we will continue to deliver those messages both publicly and directly to the DPRK,” he added.
The department spokesperson also urged Pyongyang to resume dialogue.
“We have conveyed publicly, we have also repeatedly conveyed, privately to the DPRK that we are ready and willing to engage in this dialogue and diplomacy. The DPRK has more recently heard the same message from the new administration in Korea. of the South,” Price said. .
“We believe it is incumbent on the DPRK to respond and to say yes to this, knowing this, believing that we can make progress towards what is a collective goal,” he added.
North Korea has avoided denuclearization talks since late 2019.
The country is widely believed to be preparing to carry out what will be its seventh nuclear test. (Yonhap)