U.S. and South Korea aligned on North Korea
A senior administration official made the remarks on Saturday in Seoul, South Korea, as part of a background briefing on Vice President Joe Biden's trip to Asia. Biden spoke with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on multiple issues during a two-hour bilateral meeting. The issues included China's announcement of the defense identification zone, nonproliferation and North Korea.
The official said Biden and Park both shared the view that the only way to get back to negotiations with North Korea would be for North Korea to take concrete steps to show it is serious about denuclearization. The official said the same was true during a meeting between Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"And in a sense, in both the meeting and the lunch, the vice president and President Park were finishing each other's sentences on North Korea," the official said. "That's how sort of aligned the two of them saw it. And when the vice president spoke with the prime minister, the vice president made his presentation on our policy towards North Korea, and the prime minister said, 'You just read the points I was going to make, so I have nothing more to say.'"
During the discussion of China's air defense identification zone, Biden and Park discussed the importance of the freedom of overflight and the lowering of tensions. The official said the U.S. is closely coordinating with South Korea as it considers the next steps in regards to its security to avoid escalating tensions in the region.