‘US, S.Korea working to restart dialogue with Pyongyang’

South Korea and the US are working closely together to restart dialogue with North Korea, Seoul’s Ambassador to Washington Lee Soo-hyuck said.

In a parliamentary audit on Wednesday, Lee said the countries are also discussing ways to bring North Korea back to the dialogue table that may include the provision of humanitarian assistance to the impoverished country, reports Xinhua news agency.

“(We) are discussing various ways to build trust such as the provision of humanitarian assistance to create a favourable condition for talks with North Korea,” the diplomat said.

“South Korea and the US are also closely discussing ways to restart the peace process for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of peace,” he added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has proposed declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 War, insisting the move could help kickstart the denuclearization of the North by providing some assurances to Pyongyang over its security.

Pyongyang currently remains unresponsive to US overtures, and has stayed away from denuclearization talks with Washington since early 2019.

The US has said it supports providing humanitarian assistance to the people of North Korea regardless of any progress in denuclearization talks with the North.

In his address on Wednesday, Lee said the US, however, is not considering redeploying its tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea.

The remark came amid views in South Korea that the country may consider nuclearizing itself to counter the North’s growing nuclear capability.

The US had maintained tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula since the late 1950s, but completely withdrew them in 1991.