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Biden suggests 'sincere', 'serious' talks with North during visit to South Korea

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on March 8, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

US President Joe Biden, who is on a visit to South Korea, has indicated that he would be willing to take part in “sincere” and “serious” denuclearization talks with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.

“It would depend on whether he was sincere and whether it was serious,” Biden told reporters in the South Korean capital city of Seoul on Saturday when asked under what conditions he would be willing to meet with the North Korean leader. 

Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, held three rare meetings with Kim during his tenure from 2016 to 2020 to accomplish North Korea's complete denuclearization. The attempt failed despite Pyongyang's positive efforts.

Since then Pyongyang, which has been under crippling international sanctions, has resumed its defensive military development programs, conducting weapons tests, including firing an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range.

Despite these, the Biden administration claims Washington is open to talks with North Korea with no preconditions, but Pyongyang has rejected the offers.

In related news, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said recently that if Pyongyang achieved complete denuclearization of the North, Seoul was prepared to work with the international community on an audacious plan that will vastly strengthen the nation's economy and improve the livelihood of people in North Korea.

"While North Korea's nuclear weapons programs are a threat, not only to our region … and that of the North Asia region, the door to dialogue will remain open so that we can peacefully resolve this threat," said the newly-elected president.

Meanwhile, the new president of South Korea has suggested a tougher stance towards North Korea, warning of a preemptive strike in the event of an attack and vowing to strengthen his country's deterrence capability.

Kim, too, recently vowed to expedite the North’s nuclear deterrence.

North Korea has test-fired several ballistic missiles this year; however, it hasn’t conducted a nuclear test since 2017.

 


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