At G7 meeting, US, Japan, South Korea agree to work ‘for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday opened the Group of Seven’s first face-to-face talks in two years by outlining the new administration’s new approach to North Korea, which has already denounced it.

As COVID-19 rages in India but becomes increasingly under control in the West, Britain hosted foreign ministers from the Club of Wealthy Democracies in London to discuss a post-pandemic agenda and stand by. prepare for a G7 summit in southwest England next month.

India, South Korea, South Africa and ASEAN bloc chairman Brunei have been invited to the three-day talks, which will also address growing tensions with Russia and China as well as diplomacy to revive a nuclear deal with Iran.

Amid strict anti-pandemic measures, including restrictions on movement, Mr Blinken met separately at his hotel with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea days after President Joe Biden completed a North Korea policy review.

“We are grateful to have this opportunity to have in-depth discussions with the United States after the conclusion of your policy review,” said South Korean Chung Eui-yong, welcoming the “very positive and open message. “from Mr. his speech to Congress last week.

The State Department said Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi “shared their concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs” during their meeting.

They agreed to work with South Korea, once a rival to Japan, “for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” a statement said.

Mr Biden ordered an assessment of North Korea’s policy after the unusual and highly personalized diplomacy of his predecessor Donald Trump, which included three televised meetings with young totalitarian state leader Kim Jong-un.

Middle ground

The review offered common ground in moving away from Mr. Trump’s ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to reach a far-reaching deal that, after seven decades, could finally formally end the Korean War.

But the White House also said it would engage with North Korea, a change from former President Barack Obama’s “strategic patience” policy – or, keeping Pyongyang at bay until its behavior changes.

“Our policy will not focus on achieving a big deal, nor will it be based on strategic patience,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, while acknowledging that successive administrations have failed. failed to meet the goal of ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

North Korea denounced Mr. Biden’s approach on Sunday, saying he kept a “hostile policy” in place for more than half a century.

“The ‘diplomacy’ claimed by the United States is a false sign to cover up its acts of hostility, and the ‘deterrence’ it claims is only a means of posing nuclear threats to the DPRK,” he said. said Kwon Jong Gun, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

US officials widely expected a shrill reaction from North Korea, known for its colorful statements, including in 2019 describing Mr. Biden as a “rabid dog” who “must be beaten to death with a stick.”

A welcome dinner for G7 foreign ministers will address both North Korea and Iran.