U.S. open to negotiations with North Korea
Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said on Monday that the U.S. has long stood by the desire to negotiate with North Korea to abandon all of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.
"(Secretary of State John Kerry) reiterated our longstanding position that we remain open to authentic and credible negotiations to implement the (September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks) and to bring North Korea into compliance with Security Council resolutions through irreversible steps," Ventrell said.
Ventrell said that North Korea has committed on several occasions to abandon its nuclear programs and the U.S. wants the country to come into compliance with all of its nuclear obligations. If negotiations do take place, Ventrell said the burden remains on North Korea to prove it will actually stand by its word.
"The burden remains on Pyongyang," Ventrell said. "They need to take meaningful steps to show that they'll honor their commitments. But these are - this is longstanding U.S. policy. We need to see them be serious about denuclearization, indicate their seriousness, and start to reduce the threats and stop provocations."
Ventrell also responded to questions related to the birthday celebration of the late Kim Il-sung, the former leader of North Korea. When asked if the U.S. expected a North Korean military test of some kind to commemorate the event, Ventrell said the U.S. urged North Korea not to perform any additional tests as they would be viewed as provocative actions.