US defence secy urges N Korea to resume nuclear talks

Seoul: US acting Defence Secretary Pat Shanahan called on North Korea on Monday to get back to the negotiating table for nuclear weapons talks.
“As always, we’re hopeful that the North Koreans will engage productively through diplomatic channels to resolve our concerns,” Shanahan said in comments carried by South Korean news agency Yonhap during a visit to Seoul.
The US remains committed to the sanctions it slapped on the reclusive state until North Korea complied “with all international regulations,” he added.
US President Donald Trump is hoping for a rapprochement with North Korean leader Kim Jong un. Since a failed summit in Vietnam in February, negotiations have stalled.
Washington and Pyongyang could not agree on the central issue of nuclear deproliferation. Kim called for the lifting a large part of international sanctions without success.
Shanahan said the only acceptable solution would be the monitored draw down of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula.
The US politician made it clear to his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in a Sunday meeting in Singapore that the US did not want to deviate from its goals of nuclear disarmament on the peninsula.
Trump is to visit South Korea in about three weeks. Last week he discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. — dpa