The spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, John Kirby, has assured that his country remains ready to dialogue with North Korea on a possible agreement for Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions, before recalling that Washington has troops on the peninsula capable of defending it from an escalation of hostilities.
“We want a verifiable and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and we have communicated that to the North Koreans,” said Kirby, who is also the strategic communications coordinator within the Council.
The spokesman regretted, however, and in the wake of the latest North Korean ballistic tests, that their leader Kim Jong Un does not seem to have any intention of addressing a dialogue.
“Kim has decided not to accept that offer. Quite the contrary: he has now upgraded his ballistic missile program. It is clear that he has not abandoned his nuclear weapons ambitions,” he has indicated in comments to ABC.
“That’s why we have to make sure that we have troops in the region and that we are able to use them if necessary,” he said.
Kirby’s remarks come after the South Korean military reported Sunday the launch of two more short-range ballistic missiles that departed early Sunday morning from North Korea’s east coast.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff placed the launch in Munchon, Gangwon province, at 01.48 and 01.58 local time.
North Korea, for its part, has defended its missile launches into the Sea of Japan as a planned self-defense measure in response to military threats to the country’s security by the United States.
“North Korea’s missile test launch is a regular and planned self-defense measure to defend the country’s security and regional peace from the U.S. direct military threats, which have lasted for more than half a century,” a spokesman for the Asian country’s National Aviation Administration (NAA) has assured, as reported by KCNA.