US: N.Korea must return to diplomatic engagement

David Stilwell, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

A senior US official has emphasized the need for North Korea to abide by UN Security Council resolutions and return to diplomatic engagement, the State Department said.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department said that David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, raised the issue during a video conference with senior officials from member states of the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.

“Assistant Secretary Stilwell encouraged EAS countries to address pressing regional security challenges,” it said.

“These include Beijing’s imposition of draconian national security legislation in Hong Kong, which flouts (China’s) commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984; the Rohingya crisis and escalating violence in Rakhine state; and North Korea, which must abide by U.N. Security Council Resolutions and return to diplomatic engagement.”

Stilwell was referring to UN resolutions that ban North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests and impose sanctions on Pyongyang over its weapons programs.

The call for diplomatic engagement comes as denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled following the collapse of the February 2019 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The EAS brings together 18 nations across the Asia-Pacific region, also including Australia, China, India and Russia.

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