Blinken calls on NKorea to reopen talks with US

WASHINGTON, United States: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday (Friday in Manila) that North Korea may be seeking attention with its missile launches, which he said were “destabilizing.”

The top US diplomat renewed calls for North Korea to sit down for talks with the United States, which he said harbored no “hostile intent” toward Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“I think some of this is North Korea trying to get attention. It’s done that in the past; it’ll probably continue to do that,” Blinken said in a televised interview with MSNBC.

North Korea’s tests are “profoundly destabilizing, it’s dangerous, and it contravenes a whole host of UN Security Council resolutions,” Blinken said.

North Korean state media reported on Wednesday that Kim personally oversaw a successful launch of a hypersonic missile, the second such launch by the nuclear-armed nation in less than a week.

Washington soon afterward announced sanctions on five North Koreans linked to the ballistic missile program.

Diplomacy has been at a standstill since Kim held three meetings with former president Donald Trump, who took an unusually personal approach to diplomacy.

Trump’s talks did not produce a lasting agreement, and North Korea has not shown interest in offers of lower-level engagement by President Joe Biden’s administration.