US remains prepared to engage with N.Korea after missile tests


The White House has said that the US remains prepared to engage with North Korea, after Pyongyang tested a new type of long-range cruise missiles over the weekend.

“Our position has not changed when it comes to North Korea,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One.

“We remain prepared to engage in diplomacy with the North Korea toward our objective of a complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” Xinhua news agency quoted her as saying.

She reaffirmed the Joe Biden administration’s “calibrated, practical approach” in dealing with Pyongyang, which is open to exploring diplomacy to make practical progress that increases the security of the US and its allies.

“Our offer remains to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions,” Jean-Pierre added.

North Korea successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missiles on Saturday and Sunday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday.

The launched long-range cruise missiles traveled for 7,580 seconds along oval and pattern-8 flight orbits in the air above the territorial land and waters of the DPRK and hit targets 1,500 km away, the report said.

“We’re aware of these reports of these cruise missile launches,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a Monday briefing.

He said the US is consulting with regional allies and monitoring the situation, adding US security commitments to Japan and South Korea are ironclad.

The missile tests came after a joint military exercise between South Korea and the US in August.

It also came before the US envoy for North Korea Sung Kim’s meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Tokyo this week.

The Biden administration said it would engage with Pyongyang over the denuclearisation issue but showed no willingness to ease sanctions.