Sung Kim (right) and Noh Kyu-duk attend a briefing after their meeting at a hotel in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday. AP
The US on Sunday urged North Korea to stop "counterproductive" missile tests, but expressed hope Pyongyang would respond positively to Washington's call for dialogue.
It comes after North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Tuesday, prompting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
The launch violates multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions imposed on the North and "poses a threat to the DPRK’s neighbors and the international community," Kim said.
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.
A US special envoy to North Korea said on Friday that Washington was ready to hold constructive talks with Pyongyang to follow through on a denuclearisation agreement reached by the two countries
Kim oversaw the first test firing of a “new-type large-calibre multiple launch guided rocket system” on Wednesday, North Korean state media reported.
The latest launch came after the South Korean and US militaries began mainly computer-simulated joint exercises on Monday to test Seoul's ability to take operational control in wartime.
Bush made the comments in a speech during an event in Dallas on Wednesday, while he was criticising Russia's political system. He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain, Germany, France and Italy — the G7 — will hold talks as Ukraine, invaded by Russia on Feb. 24, is struggling to fend off the attack.
Russia said on Wednesday an additional 694 more fighters had surrendered, bringing the total number to 959. Its defence ministry posted videos of what it said were Ukrainian fighters receiving hospital treatment after surrendering at Azovstal.