US ready to talk to North Korea about nuclear weapons

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said the Biden administration is willing to negotiate with North Korea “without preconditions” over its nuclear program. His comments come days after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“We’ve indicated to North Korea that we’re ready to sit down and talk about their nuclear program without preconditions,” Sullivan told ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday.

Sullivan said the United States feared North Korea was conducting its seventh nuclear test, but he saw “no immediate indication” of such a test.

“But it wouldn’t be surprising if North Korea conducted another nuclear test,” he said. “In terms of its intercontinental ballistic missile capability, it’s a capability that they started testing several years ago. They’ve continued to test it. We’re watching all of those tests very closely to see how it fare. develops and we could coordinate extremely closely with our allies – with Japan and Korea – to ensure that we respond at the same pace to this threat.”

In a joint statement last week, the United States, Japan and South Korea condemned the July 12 launch, saying it posed “a serious threat to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and beyond.” of the”. The countries also called on North Korea to “stop its illegal and escalating actions and promptly resume dialogue.”

Sullivan said China must do more to prevent the situation from getting worse.

“We’ve also made it clear to China that it’s the United States that’s ready for diplomacy and North Korea that’s not,” Sullivan said. “So from our perspective, China has a role to play here as well, given its relationship with North Korea, in signaling to North Koreans that continuing its testing is destabilizing and, frankly, does not in fact that create circumstances in which the United States our allies and partners must increase our activities and our posture to respond to the threat.

The United States has sworn to defend South Korea and Japan, including with nuclear capabilities, should North Korea launch an attack.

Meanwhile, Sullivan said US-China relations needed to be “handled carefully” and that “it really can only be done effectively from the top”, although he did not have details on the time President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping would speak as two countries try to ease rising tensions.

Several Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellenrecently traveled to China for high-level talks.

Yellen said “Face the Nation” last week that China’s decision to limit exports of metals used in semiconductor manufacturing was “potentially” in retaliation for the US limiting Chinese access to chipsets. processor and other technologies.

Sullivan called China’s move a “counterproductive move.”

“This will only strengthen the resolve of many other countries around the world to reduce risk, find ways to reduce dependencies and increase the resilience of their own supply chains, including for critical mineral types. who are at issue in this particular decision,” he said.

The United States is not seeking to end trade with China, he said.

“What we’re looking to do is have a small yard of restrictions on technology with national security implications,” he said, “and a high fence around that yard.”

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