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South Korean, U.S. Nuclear Envoys Agree to Push for New UNSC Resolution on North Korea

South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Noh Kyu-duk, left, speaks after a meeting with Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea, in Washington, April 5. Yonhap
South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Noh Kyu-duk, left, speaks after a meeting with Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea, in Washington, April 5. Yonhap

The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States on Monday agreed to jointly push for a new U.N. Security Council resolution against North Korea over its recent series of ballistic missile launches.

They also reaffirmed their condemnation of the missile launches as serious violations of existing UNSC resolutions.

“South Korea and the U.S. first shared our views on the current situation of the Korean Peninsula at today’s meeting,” Noh Kyu-duk said of his meeting with Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for the DPRK.

“In addition, we reaffirmed our joint position that it is important to sternly act against North Korea’s provocations while maintaining a strong joint defense posture,” added Noh.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

Noh arrived here Sunday to discuss North Korea’s recent missile launches that included the firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on March 24 (Seoul time), which ended the North’s self-imposed moratorium on long-range ballistic missile testing that had been in place since November 2017.

“These launches are a clear violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and we must work together to come up with a decisive response to the DPRK’s provocative behavior,” the top U.S. nuclear envoy told reporters.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, head of the U.S. mission to the U.N., earlier said the U.S. will propose a new UNSC resolution to strengthen existing sanctions on North Korea.

“And because of DPRK’s increasingly dangerous provocations, the United States will be introducing a chapter seven Security Council resolution to update and strengthen the sanctions regime,” the U.S. envoy said in a UNSC meeting held in New York on March 25.

“We also agreed on the importance of a strong UN Security response to these escalatory actions by the DPRK, and I look forward to working with Ambassador Noh and his team and their colleagues in the UN to pursue a new UN Security Council resolution,” Kim said.

Noh confirmed joint efforts to push for a UNSC resolution.

“Especially regarding the North’s ICBM launch on March 24, (we) agreed on the need to take strong measures, including a new resolution at the UNSC, consider that it was a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the South Korean envoy said.

Both Kim and Noh said their countries continue to remain open to dialogue with the North.

“We also made clear that we remain open to diplomacy. But it really is up to Pyongyang to decide the path forward. They can choose to talk to us, to negotiate with us for our shared goal of denuclearization,” he said.

Noh urged the North to quickly return to diplomacy.

“I once again call on North Korea to refrain from taking any action that may further deteriorate the situation and return to dialogue and diplomacy,” he said.

Noh added he has invited his U.S. counterpart to visit Seoul in the near future to continue their discussions.

Kim said he will do so in a few weeks, and that he also looks forward to holding talks with members of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s transition team.

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