|US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield during a news conference at United Nations headquarters, on March 1, 2021. (File photo by=Mary Altaffer/AP)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] WASHINGTON: The United States is willing and prepared to talk with North Korea at any time, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday, while also stressing that the option has always been on the table for Pyongyang.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, however, also stressed the need to respond to North Korea's recent missile tests that she said jeopardized peace and security in the East Asian region. "We have been clear from day one that we are willing to go to the negotiating table with the DPRK without any preconditions," she said when asked about the prospects of diplomacy with the North, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Her remarks came in a webinar hosted by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, and after North Korea conducted four rounds of missile launches since the start of the year, including the test-firing of a self-claimed new hypersonic missile in two of those four launches. Pyongyang has also said it will consider resuming "temporarily-suspended activities" that were aimed at building trust with the U.S., which many believe refer to its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing that has been maintained since November 2017. Thomas-Greenfield stressed the need for the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to respond to the North Korean missile launches.