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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

16:00 April 09, 2021

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

S. Korea, Japan, U.S. agree on need to quickly resume dialogue with N. Korea

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea, Japan and the United States have agreed on the need to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue as they reaffirmed their joint efforts to quickly resume denuclearization talks with Pyongyang, South Korea's national security adviser Suh Hoon said Friday.

"South Korea, the U.S. and Japan agreed on the urgency of the North Korean nuclear issue and need for a diplomatic solution to the issue," Suh told reporters after a three-way meeting with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Jake Sullivan and Shigeru Kitamura.

The three also agreed that "efforts to resume North Korea-U.S. negotiations at an early date must continue," he added.

Wang says S. Korea, China will seek 'political' resolution process for Korean Peninsula issue

BEIJING/SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that China and South Korea will seek a process for a "political" resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue, raising prospects of joint efforts to resume dialogue with North Korea.

Wang made the remarks during talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen, as Seoul seeks to enlist cooperation from Beijing and other countries to move forward its stalled agenda for lasting peace on the peninsula.

The talks came amid renewed tensions caused by North Korea's recent short-range missile launches and its hardening rhetoric against the South and a U.N. panel report that the reclusive regime continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs.

N. Korea's decision to skip Olympics consistent with its COVID-19 response: Price

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's decision to skip the Summer Olympics appears to be in line with its strong measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department said Tuesday.

"We are aware of reports that North Korea has decided not to participate in the Summer Olympics, which would appear consistent, in fact, with the DPRK's stringent response to COVID-19," Ned Price said at a daily press briefing.

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

N. Korea moves submersible missile test stand barge: U.S. think tank

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has moved a submersible missile test stand barge at a shipyard on its east coast, a U.S. think tank said Wednesday, noting the move could be part of preparations for a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test or for maintenance.

Citing satellite imagery collected Tuesday, Beyond Parallel, a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, revealed the activity, warning the "implied threat" of SLBM testing would pose "significant challenges" to both Seoul and Washington.

The barge located at the Sinpo South Shipyard has left the secure boat basin to the floating dry dock, but it does not indicate an imminent missile test given that no missile canister was visible onboard the barge, the think tank said.

U.S. prepared for diplomacy for denuclearization of N. Korea: White House spokeswoman

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Yonhap) -- The United States is prepared to engage in some form of diplomacy with North Korea if it will lead to denuclearization on the peninsula, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

She said the U.S. remains committed to denuclearization of North Korea.

"We have a clear objective as it relates to North Korea, which is denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula," the spokeswoman said at a daily press briefing. "We are, of course, continuing to enforce sanctions. We are consulting with allies and partners. We are prepared to consider some form of diplomacy if it's going to lead us down the path toward denuclearization."

U.S. still in final stage of 'careful' N. Korea policy: State Dept.

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Yonhap) -- The United States is taking all necessary steps to carefully review its North Korea policy, a State Department spokesman said Thursday.

Ned Price reiterated the review is in is final stages, but said such careful consideration requires time.

"We were talking earlier in this briefing about the careful consideration of major decisions in a completely different context, and I think that would also apply to this case," he said when asked if the review process was being held up.


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