The Biden administration has repeatedly said it’s ready to meet North Korea "anywhere and at any time” without preconditions. But North Korea says a return to talks is conditional on the US dropping what it calls a hostile policy toward Pyongyang, an apparent reference to US-led sanctions and regular military drills between Washington and Seoul.
Sung Kim, the top US official on North Korea affairs, spoke after meeting with South Korean officials to discuss North Korea’s recent streak of missile tests that came amid a long-running stalemate in nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang.
"We call on the DPRK to cease these provocations and other destabilizing activities, and instead, engage in dialogue,” Kim told reporters, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
He labelled Tuesday's launch a "provocation", and urged Pyongyang to stop "concerning and counterproductive" missile tests.