U.S. still open to dialogue with North, despite weekend tests

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U.S. still open to dialogue with North, despite weekend tests

Photos released on Monday by the North's Korea Central News Agency show new cruise missiles being fired from a transporter erector launcher and in flight during weekend tests. [KCNA]

Photos released on Monday by the North's Korea Central News Agency show new cruise missiles being fired from a transporter erector launcher and in flight during weekend tests. [KCNA]

 
The United States remains open to dialogue with North Korea to convince the country to commit to denuclearization, a White House spokesperson said Monday, local time, after the North revealed it tested new cruise missiles over the weekend.
 
“Our position has not changed when it comes to North Korea,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy spokeswoman for the White House, after being asked by reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Boise, Idaho, where President Joe Biden was set to deliver remarks about wild fires ravaging the area.
 
“We remain prepared to engage with the DPRK toward our objective of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” she added, using the acronym for the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
 
North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Monday that it successfully tested a new cruise missile over the weekend.
 
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby did not say at a Monday press conference whether the most recent launches violated United Nations Security Council resolutions — which only ban ballistic missile tests by the North — but said that the tests “highlight again the threat that the DPRK continues to pose to the region and to its neighbors.”
 
Jean-Pierre described the U.S. government’s approach to North Korea as “calibrated” and “practical” and said the United States is “open to and will explore diplomacy with DPRK to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, our deployed forces.”
 
“Our offer [is] to meet anywhere, anytime, without preconditions,” she added, saying that ongoing diplomatic efforts have not changed.

BY MICHAEL LEE [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
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