Unification ministry views U.S. attempt to reach out to N.K. positively: official

SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) — The unification ministry “views positively” U.S. efforts to reach out to North Korea, an official said Thursday, after a report that the administration of President Joe Biden tried unsuccessfully for a second time to open talks with Pyongyang.

On Wednesday, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin said in an op-ed piece that the Biden administration has recently reached out to the North to explain the outcome of its policy review on the country, but got no response just like its first reach-out attempt in February.

“We view positively the U.S. announcement of the concluded policy review on North Korea and its efforts to restore dialogue and attempts to reach out in the early stages, including explaining the policy review results,” the ministry official said.

“Our basic stance is that it is desirable for U.S.-North Korea contact and engagement, including those involving policy review on North Korea, to be made in the early stages,” he added.

The official said the ministry will watch for the North’s response, pointing out that it has been less than a week since the U.S. unveiled the direction of its results.

On Friday, the U.S. announced the conclusion of its monthslong North Korea policy review.

In March, Reuters reported that the Biden administration made several behind-the-scenes attempts to reach out to the North starting in mid-February.

Following the report, North Korea released a statement saying that it will continue to ignore any contact from the United States unless Washington withdraws its hostile policies toward Pyongyang.

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