US envoy offers to meet North Korea 'anywhere, anytime'

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • US special representative for North Korea Sung Kim said he would meet with Pyongyang without preconditions.
  • There has been no contact between the Biden administration and North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
  • North Korea has conceded a food crisis in the country.

The US special representative for North Korea on Monday offered to meet with Pyongyang "anywhere, anytime, without preconditions", with no public contact so far between the Biden administration and the nuclear-armed nation.

Sung Kim's remarks came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week gave his first reaction to Washington's recent review of its approach to his isolated country, saying Pyongyang must prepare for both "dialogue and confrontation".

READ | North Korea must prepare for 'dialogue and confrontation' with US - Kim Jong Un

The Biden administration has previously promised a "practical, calibrated approach", including diplomatic efforts, to persuade the impoverished North to give up its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

"We continue to hope that the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach, and our offer to meet anywhere anytime without preconditions," US envoy Kim said during a five-day visit to Washington's ally South Korea, referring to the North by its official name.

Last week, Kim Jong Un said the country's food situation was "tense", sounding the alarm in a country with a moribund agricultural sector that has long struggled to feed itself and is now under self-imposed isolation to try to protect itself against the coronavirus pandemic.

Pyongyang's state-run KCTV on Sunday reported leader Kim and top officials had discussed "emergency measures" to tackle the country's "current food crisis".

Economic lifeline

North Korea has long insisted that it has had no cases of the virus - a claim that analysts doubt - but it has paid a heavy economic price for its self-imposed blockade.

Trade with China, its economic lifeline, has slowed to a trickle, while all international aid work faces tight restrictions.

Envoy Kim on Monday urged UN Security Council members - a group which includes China - to fully implement resolutions against Pyongyang, which limit North Korean imports of oil and its exports of coal, textiles and fish, among other things.

"We will continue to implement all UN Security Council resolutions addressing the DPRK," he said.

"We also urge UN member states, especially UN Security Council members, to do the same to address the threat posed to the international community by the DPRK."

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
24% - 17 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
76% - 53 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.13
+0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.52
+1.0%
Rand - Euro
17.15
+0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.88
+1.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.4%
Gold
1,835.44
-0.2%
Silver
24.38
-0.4%
Palladium
2,086.50
+0.9%
Platinum
1,033.50
-0.9%
Brent Crude
88.38
-0.1%
Top 40
68,163
-2.1%
All Share
74,843
-1.8%
Resource 10
74,838
-3.0%
Industrial 25
94,184
-1.7%
Financial 15
15,084
-0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE