U.S. envoy brushes off North Korea's deadline

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:40s

U.S. envoy brushes off North Korea's deadline

U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, urged Pyongyang on Monday to return offers of talks, dismissing leader Kim Jong Un's year-end deadline.

Ryan Brooks reports.

U.S. envoy brushes off North Korea's deadline

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea urged Pyongyang to return to nuclear talks on Monday (December 16) .

Stephen Biegun made a direct appeal to the North while visiting the South.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR NORTH KOREA, STEPHEN BIEGUN, SAYING: "Let me speak directly to our counterparts in North Korea.

It is time for us to do our jobs.

Let's get this done.

We are here.

And you know how to reach us.

" Biegun also brushed off a year-end deadline set by leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim has said the North will take a quote 'new path' if Washington fails to soften its stance before then.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR NORTH KOREA, STEPHEN BIEGUN, SAYING: On this point let me be absolutely clear.

The United States does not have a deadline.

We have a goal to fulfil the commitments the two leaders made during their historic summit meeting in Singapore." But the North's state media has recently said Washington has 'nothing to offer' if talks restart.

And tension has risen in recent weeks as Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests, and a war of words with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The flare-up has sparked fears of a return to earlier cycles of escalation between the two sides.

Trump and Kim have met three times since last year to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, but with little success.

On Sunday (December 16th) Pyongyang said it carried out another 'crucial test' at a satellite launch site, the second test there in a week.

It's a site U.S. officials once said North Korea had promised to close.

Experts said tests like these could help the country build more reliable intercontinental ballistic missiles, weapons capable of reaching the United States.

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