The U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea accused the country of intentionally “squandering” opportunities offered by President Trump’s administration to denuclearize and receive sanction relief.
Deputy Secretary of State and special envoy Stephen Biegun made the comments during a think tank event in Seoul, according to Newsweek.
“Regrettably, much opportunity has been squandered by our North Korean counterparts over the past two years,” Biegen said according to Newsweek. “who too often have devoted themselves to the search for obstacles to negotiations instead of seizing opportunities for engagement.”
Biegun, who became the special North Korean envoy in August of 2018, is still calling for talks to resume in the coming months and defended Trump’s decision to directly negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to Reuters.
The special envoy also said, “The war is over; the time for conflict has ended, and the time for peace has arrived,” according to Reuters regarding president-elect Joe Biden’s team. (RELATED: Japan Planning to Build Missiles Capable of Striking North Korea)
The special envoy also assured South Korea, as reported by Reuters, that the United States would maintain their alliance regardless of the upcoming change in administrations.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun held talks with Korean diplomats in Seoul on Wednesday — an opportunity for Seoul to encourage cooperation between the allies to resume denuclearization negotiations with North Korea.https://t.co/FUdnTjbE4N pic.twitter.com/TNmTNIxuHh
— Korea JoongAng Daily (@JoongAngDaily) December 10, 2020
Biegun’s comments come as Leader Un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong, warned that South Korea would “pay dearly” for casting doubt on North Korea’s COVID-19 “success story,” as reported by The Independent.