US says North Korean coverage stays unchanged after nuclear comment raises eyebrows By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: North Korean chief Kim Jong-un speaks throughout a go to to the Central Officers Faculty of the ruling Staff’ Get together in Pyongyang, North Korea on this undated photograph launched on Could 18 October 2022 by Korean Central Information Company of North Korea (KCNA).

By David Brunnström and Simon Lewis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US stated on Friday its coverage towards North Korea had not modified after a senior U.S. official accountable for nuclear coverage raised eyebrows, saying Washington would keen to have interaction in arms management talks with Pyongyang.

Some specialists say recognizing North Korea as a nuclear-weapon state, which Pyongyang desires, is a prerequisite for such talks. However Washington has lengthy argued that North Korea’s nuclear program is unlawful and topic to UN sanctions.

Bonnie Jenkins, the State Division’s undersecretary for arms management, was requested at a nuclear convention in Washington on Thursday how a lot North Korea must be handled as an arms management difficulty.

“In the event that they needed to have a dialog with us…arms management can all the time be an choice in case you have two international locations keen to sit down down on the desk and discuss,” she replied.

“And never simply arms management, however danger discount – every thing main as much as a conventional arms management treaty and all of the totally different facets of arms management that we are able to have with them. We made it very clear to the DPRK…that we’re prepared to speak to them – now we have no preconditions,” she stated, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official identify.

Referring to North Korean chief Kim Jong Un, she added: “If he picks up the cellphone and says, ‘I wish to speak about arms management,’ we’re not going to say no. I believe we would slightly wish to discover what which means.”

The US and its allies concern that North Korea is about to renew nuclear bomb testing for the primary time since 2017, which might be very unwelcome for the Biden administration forward of the midterm elections within the nation. starting of subsequent month. North Korea has rejected US calls to renew talks.

Requested about Jenkins’ remark, State Division spokesman Ned Worth stated, “I wish to be very clear about this. There was no change in American coverage.”

Worth stated the US coverage remained “the entire denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” whereas including, “we proceed to be open to diplomacy with the DPRK, we proceed to succeed in out to the DPRK, we’re dedicated to pursue a diplomatic strategy”. stand prepared to fulfill with out preconditions and name on the DPRK to have interaction in severe and sustained diplomacy.”


Talking Friday on the identical nuclear coverage convention Jenkins addressed, Alexandra Bell, one other senior State Division arms management official, additionally careworn that there have been no adjustments. in American politics.

When requested if it was time to just accept North Korea as a nuclear state, she replied: “Other than, we’re dedicated to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We don’t settle for North Korea with this standing. However we’re excited about having a dialog with the North Koreans.”

Daniel Russel, the highest US diplomat for East Asia beneath then-President Barack Obama and now with the Asia Society, advised Reuters that Jenkins had “fallen straight into Kim Jong Un’s lure. ” together with his remarks.

“To recommend that North Korea simply has to comply with have a dialog with the USA on arms management and danger discount is a horrible mistake, as a result of it shifts the query of Korea’s proper from North of possessing nuclear weapons to the query of what number of she ought to have and the way they’re used,” he stated.

“Kim would really like nothing higher than to advance his danger discount agenda – the withdrawal of US troops from Korea.”

Different specialists performed down Jenkins’ remarks.

Daryl Kimball, government director of the US-based Arms Management Affiliation, stated she was not making a press release recognizing North Korea as a nuclear-weapon state beneath the worldwide non-proliferation treaty. .

“She acknowledged, like different officers in different administrations, that North Korea possesses nuclear weapons, however in violation of its commitments beneath the NPT to not search nuclear weapons,” he stated. at Reuters.

Kimball and Toby Dalton, a nuclear knowledgeable from the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace, which hosted the nuclear convention, stated they didn’t see formal recognition as a nuclear-weapon state as a prerequisite within the arms management talks. Dalton stated Jenkins appeared to basically reaffirm the US place that he was keen to speak to Pyongyang with out preconditions.