United States President Joe Biden, right, speaks as President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, listens during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC 210521 CREDIT Newscom Alamy.jpg
North Korea

North Korea: US And South Concerned About Nuclear Programme

The South Korean President visited Washington seeking renewed diplomatic urgency on curbing North Korea's nuclear programme.

United States President Joe Biden, right, speaks as President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, listens during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC 210521 CREDIT Newscom Alamy.jpg

The US and South Korea remain "deeply concerned" about the situation in North Korea and have pledged to work on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

US President Joe Biden announced he will deploy a new special envoy to the region to help refocus efforts on pressing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

Mr Biden told a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he was dispatching career diplomat Sung Kim to serve as the special envoy to the region.

Mr Moon said the move by his US counterpart "reflects the firm commitment of the US for exploring diplomacy and its readiness for dialogue with North Korea".

The South Korean President visited Washington seeking renewed diplomatic urgency by the US on curbing North Korea's nuclear programme, even as the White House signalled that it is taking a longer view on the issue.

The two also discussed co-ordination of vaccine distribution, climate change and regional security concerns spurred by China.

Mr Moon said afterward he and Mr Biden spoke "like old friends" and emphasised the need for co-operation on security issues in the region.

"The most urgent common task that our two countries must undertake is achieving complete denuclearisation and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula," he said.

North Korean flag blowing in the wind 241015 CREDIT  IMAGEBROKER / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Earlier this year North Korea's leader threatened to expand his country's arsenal of nuclear weapons (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo).

The US President also announced that the US would vaccinate 550,000 South Korean service members who serve alongside American forces on the peninsula.

This marks the first commitment by the Biden administration for what it plans to do with the 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses it aims to distribute globally in the next six weeks.

Mr Biden has said he hopes to use domestically produced vaccines as a modern-day "arsenal of democracy", a reference to the US effort to arm allies in the Second World War.

Cover image: President Biden and President Moon met in Washington on Friday (Picture: Newscom/Alamy).