SEOUL, March 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States agreed Tuesday to “actively” push for three-way consultations involving China over the implementation of new U.N. sanctions on North Korea and its denuclearization, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said.
Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, held talks with Amb. Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, to discuss joint responses to Pyongyang’s evolving nuclear threats and relentless provocations.
Their agreement to pursue the three-party talks came after Beijing said last week that it was “open” to the talks involving the two allies to enhance cooperation in enforcing the U.N. Security Council’s (UNSC) sanctions resolution that was adopted earlier this month to punish Pyongyang’s latest provocations.’
During Tuesday’s talks, the two nuclear envoys reaffirmed their vows to put “across-the-board” pressure on the North to change course and take a path toward denuclearization, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
The ministry also said that the envoys shared the view that the North would face an “unbearably stern” response by the international community should Pyongyang engage in yet another major provocation.
Pyongyang has recently been ratcheting up its threats against Seoul and Washington in an angry response to the allies’ ongoing military drills and the latest adoption of UNSC sanctions on the North.
Before the talks between the allies’ nuclear envoys, Sung Kim and Daniel Fried, the State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy, briefly met with Seoul’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.
Yun stressed that through stringent sanctions and international pressure, the international community should make the North recognize that denuclearization is the “only option.”
The talks between the two Kims came a day after the allies held their first high-level meeting here on implementing bilateral and international sanctions.
After Monday’s talks on anti-Pyongyang sanctions, the U.S. nuclear envoy said that the allies would implement new U.N. sanctions on the North with “vigor and energy” in cooperation with the international community.