US Envoy Rejects North Korea Deadline, Says Kim Must Reach Out

Biegun says US has offered 'creative' ways to continue talks

US special envoy to North Korea Stephen Biegun has been in South Korea for the last several days discussing what to do about the upcoming North Korean deadline to restart talks. The answer is that Biegun is insisting the US will never accept the deadline as a real thing.

The US has been dismissive of the deadline for some time, but has also warned that in their own view time is running out. Either way, there is no sign that talks are going to be restarted soon.

Biegun tried to put the ball in North Korea’s court on this, saying “you know how to reach us,” and that the US has goals, not deadlines. At the same time, he claimed the US had offered a number of “creative” ideas for getting the talks going again.

North Korea was clear that they wanted a new approach, and were looking for an equitable process where North Korea would get something in return for disarmament. Though Biegun did not say how their proposals were creative, they apparently did not involve what North Korea wanted.

This means that the deadline, artificial or not, is likely to pass, and Biegun is trying to position the US as having offered a level of flexibility despite the talks failing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.