U.S. envoy reiterates call for North Korean dialogue without preconditions

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Oct. 24 (UPI) — The U.S. special envoy to North Korea on Sunday called for continued dialogue with South Korea without preconditions.

Special envoy Sung Kim made the push after meeting with South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk, according to Yonhap News Agency.

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“I look forward to continuing to work with special representative Noh to explore different ideas and initiatives, including the ROK’s end-of-war proposal as we continue to pursue our shared objectives on the peninsula,” Kim said.

Kim’s comments came after North Korea on Tuesday launched a ballistic missile into the East Sea in its first such launch this month after a barrage in September that included four new weapons.

Kim on Sunday called the latest test a “provocation” adding it defies several United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach,” he said.

North Korean media site Meari on Sunday slammed the proposal, accusing the United States of seeking to increase military pressure against Pyongyang, Yonhap reported.

“The United States can be seen as seeking to usefully capitalize on the (proposed) defense working group to tighten its grab on South Korea’s defense sector, pressure North Korea militarily and by extension, strengthen the realization of its Indo-Pacific strategy,” the outlet said.

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Early this month, North Korea resumed communications and military hotlines with South Korea after severing them in June of last year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has also been seeking a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which could lead to the resumption of denuclearization talks that have stalled since February of 2019.