The United States bears “no hostile intent” toward North Korea and is prepared to meet for negotiations without any preconditions, principal deputy spokesperson for the state department Jalina Porter said on Monday.
Porter was responding to questions by reporters on South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s claims that the United States, China, and North Korea have all agreed “in principle” to call an end to the 1950–1953 Korean War.
Moon noted that South Korea has yet to enter negotiations with its northern neighbor because North Korea insists that any formal treaty to end the Korean War, which ended in a truce, must first be preceded by an end to U.S. “hostilities” toward Pyongyang.
“We certainly have no hostile intent towards the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]. We’re certainly prepared to meet without preconditions, and we hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach,” Porter said.
The United States is committed to achieving “a lasting peace” on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy with North Korea, and will continue to consult closely with its allies on the best way to do so, Porter added.
“We’ll seek to engage with the DPRK as a part of a calibrated and practical approach in order to make more tangible progress that increases the security of not only the United States but as well as our allies and our deployed forces,” she said.
Meanwhile, Moon has also said that South Korea wouldn’t participate in the U.S.-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, citing a need for China’s help to “enable denuclearization of DPRK” on the Korean Peninsula.
To this, Porter commented that the decision for a diplomatic boycott of the Games is up to each country, adding that the United States has consulted with its allies and partners on “the best-informed decisions.”
Australia, the UK, Canada, Lithuania, and New Zealand have joined the United States to boycott the Games in protest of the Chinese regime’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.” All the countries taking part in the diplomatic boycott will allow their athletes to compete.
Earlier this month, the United States and South Korea agreed to revise their strategic planning guidance to deter North Korea’s military threats.
In a joint statement, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his South Korean counterpart Suh Wook said they are committed “to strengthening the alliance’s deterrence posture by leveraging all available alliance capabilities, including cyber and space capabilities” in response to security threats on the Korean Peninsula.
The statement said that the Korean Peninsula is one of the places on the globe where conflict could start with little notice, and the forces in South Korea—including 28,000 Americans—must be ready to “fight tonight.”