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U.S. not ruling out direct talks with North Korea

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.   | Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said on Tuesday, hours after Pyongyang warned nuclear war might break out at any moment.

Talks between the adversaries have long been urged by China in particular, but Washington and its ally Japan have been reluctant to sit down at the table while Pyongyang continues to pursue a goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S.

“Eventually, we don’t rule out the possibility of course of direct talks,” Mr. Sullivan said in Tokyo after talks with his Japanese counterpart.

“Our focus is on diplomacy to solve this problem that is presented by the DPRK. We must, however, with our allies, Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst, should diplomacy fail,” he said. On Monday, North Korea’s Deputy UN Ambassador Kim In-ryong had told a General Assembly committee: “The situation on the Korean peninsula where the attention of the whole world is focused has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment.”

South Korea and the U.S. began week-long joint Navy drills in the waters around the Korean peninsula on Monday, involving about 40 ships from both militaries, including the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the South's defence ministry said.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 2:18:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-not-ruling-out-direct-talks-with-north-korea/article19877449.ece

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