Biden, Moon ‘deeply concerned’ about North Korea

Washington, May 21 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden on Friday said he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are “deeply concerned” about the situation with North Korea, and announced the appointment of a new special envoy to Pyongyang to make headway on the issue.

At a press-conference with Moon at the White House, Biden reiterated his commitment to South Korea, one of the US’ main regional allies, to coordinate policy towards Pyongyang and tackle its missile program.

“We both are deeply concerned about the situation. Our two nations also share a willingness to engage diplomatically with the DPRK to take pragmatic steps that will reduce tensions as we move towards our ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Biden said.

Diplomat Sung Kim, the current acting assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, has been appointed as the US’ new special envoy for North Korea, Biden announced.

South Korean leader Moon said the appointment reflects Washington’s “firm commitment” to seek a diplomatic path with North Korea and said he has “high expectations” after the appointment of Kim, whom he described as “a man of high caliber.”

Kim was ambassador to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea, in addition to having held the position of special representative for North Korea policy between 2014 and 2016 during the Barack Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president.

The new approach of the Biden era discards the “all or nothing” style of Donald Trump and the strategic patience of Barack Obama, betting on a kind of middle path that pursues diplomatic dialog in phases and that seeks to rekindle talks that remain frozen after the failure of the 2019 Hanoi summit.

Moon’s visit to the White House is the second visit by a foreign leader since Biden came to power on Jan. 20, after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited on Apr.16. EFE


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