South Korea and the United States will work together to resume dialogue with the DPRK, while Pyongyang wants Washington to offer a viable solution first.
At the annual Security Consultation Meeting in Seoul on November 15, South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his US counterpart Mark Esper agreed to continue security cooperation between the two countries and Japan to ensure their willing to deal with “threat” from North Korea. On the other hand, the two sides also agreed to work together to resume dialogue with North Korea, according to KBS.
Esper said the United States and South Korea should be flexible with joint exercises between the two countries to support diplomatic efforts toward ending the North’s nuclear program.
Before coming to South Korea, Mr. Esper on November 14 left open the possibility of reducing the size of joint drills to benefit diplomatic efforts with North Korea. After that, North Korea gave a rare quick response, assessing the statement from the Pentagon leader as Washington’s “positive” attempt to resume dialogue with Pyongyang.
Also on November 14, North Korean nuclear negotiating chief Kim Myong-gil said his US counterpart Stephen Biegun recently proposed holding a bilateral dialogue through a third country, according to KCNA.
“If the solution to the negotiated issues is possible, we are ready to meet the US side anywhere and anytime”, Kim stressed, but warned North Korea was not ready to hold talks if the US sought. how to appease the passing of the year-end as did in the case-level talks in Sweden in October.
Earlier, President Kim Jong-un announced that he would wait until the end of the year for the US to change its denuclearization claims. Kim Myong-gil also emphasized that there will be no opportunity to resolve the current impasse if Washington only seeks to discuss minor issues such as the declaration of the end of the Korean War (1950 – 1953) or the establishment of an office contact.
KCNA reported that North Korea sent an ultimatum to South Korea on November 11, warning if Seoul did not dismantle its Korean-built facilities at the Kim Cuong mountain resort in Pyongyang will unilaterally do this.
According to KCNA, Seoul has no response to an ultimatum and Pyongyang will develop Diamond Mountain itself as a global cultural and tourist resort in the style of North Korea.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry confirmed it had received an ultimatum from North Korea, but demanded that Pyongyang have a dialogue to resolve the issue, according to Yonhap.