S.Korea president says US wants to resume talks with N.Korea

ANKARA (AA) – The South Korean president on Wednesday said the new US administration led by Joe Biden wants to resume dialogue with North Korea.

Briefing the country's five major political parties’ leaders about his recent visit to Washington, Moon Jae-in said the US has made a de facto offer to North Korea for the resumption of talks with the appointment of a special representative.

“The move is like making a request for North Korea to resume dialogue,” Yonhap News Agency quoted him as saying.

The US president has picked Sung Kim, a career diplomat, to serve as the US special envoy to North Korea. The announcement was made when Moon was in Washington.

The South Korean president said Seoul and Washington have formed a "firm consensus" on the need to advance the Korea peace process.

Last week, Biden said the US and South Korea are willing to engage diplomatically with North Korea.

“My team consulted closely with President Moon's team throughout the process of our DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] review, and we both are deeply concerned about the situation," Biden told a joint press briefing at the White House.

“Our two nations also share a willingness to engage diplomatically with the DPRK to take pragmatic steps that will reduce tensions, as we move toward our ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

In March, North Korea had turned down an offer by the US for talks, saying dialogue would be possible only if both sides come to "equal footing."

In a statement, North Korea's First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui said Washington had been trying to make contact through several channels since mid-February.

Former US President Donald Trump held three successive rounds of talks with North Korea, but was ultimately unable to come to an agreement on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid