July 01, 2020 13:35
A senior U.S. official said that the U.S. will "continue to leave the door open to diplomacy" with North Korea.
Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun made the remarks in a videoconference hosted by the German Marshall Fund on Monday.
Asked about the possibility of a fresh summit with North Korea before the U.S. presidential election in November, he said, "I think it's probably unlikely."
He reminded his listeners that the U.S.' goal is still the "final and complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Meanwhile, another U.S. official called for resumption of joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises.
Thomas Countryman, a former acting undersecretary of state for international security affairs, told Voic of America, "This would be a good time to resume full-scale U.S.-[South Korea] military exercises, which play an important role in maintaining combat readiness, and which could prove a valuable signal to [North Korea] at this time."
Both the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees have passed provisions of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act restricting any drawdown of American troops in South Korea and reinforcing the missile defense network against threats from North Korea.
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