April 19, 2022
SEOUL – Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States condemned the series of missile tests by North Korea while urging the communist regime to return to the “path of dialogue,” in Seoul on Monday.
South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk said he reaffirmed the strong alliance with the United States, with his US counterpart Sung Kim traveling to Seoul to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“As North Korea is concentrating on advancement of its nuclear and missile capabilities, I and Kim shared the concerns that it is likely for North Korea to continue with its actions to raise tension (here),” Noh said in a joint press briefing with Kim, following their meeting.
“So if North Korea pushes on with its nuclear tests and launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles, we agreed to counteract, based on the impenetrable alliance of South Korea and the US.”
While urging the communist regime to return to the “path to dialogue and diplomacy,” the two special representatives also vowed to raise a strong voice against the North for further violations of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Noh added.
Acknowledging that his meeting with Noh comes just two weeks after Noh traveled to Washington, Kim noted the frequent meetings show the two countries’ determination and commitment to maintain the “closest possible coordination (on) all aspects of issues related to North Korea.”
Kim also raised serious concerns about recent missile launches by North Korea, including intercontinental ballistic missile testing in March, and explained that Washington shares Seoul’s concerns on escalatory actions.
“We, of course, share your concerns about the DPRK’s escalatory actions and we will continue to work closely to respond responsibly and decisively to the provocative behavior in the united context and beyond,” Kim said. DPRK refers to North Korea’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korea revealed Sunday that it test-fired a “new type of tactical guided weapons system” as part of efforts to enhance its capabilities to effectively operate “tactical nuclear weapons.”
During his five-day trip, the US special representative is expected to meet with the foreign minister nominee, Rep. Park Jin of the People Power Party, as well as the unification minister nominee, Rep. Kwon Young-se of the same party.
It is Kim’s fourth visit to Seoul since he was appointed as special representative last May.
According to sources from the presidential transition team, Kim is also expected to hold talks with the team’s subcommittee for foreign affairs and national security.
The foreign minister nominee said Monday that he had previously met Sung Kim during his trip to Washington early this month, where he led the policy consultation delegation for South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol. Park confirmed that he and Kim will organize a meeting before Kim returns to the United States.
US Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Jung Pak is also accompanying Kim.