Following a meeting of top diplomats in London, foreign ministers from the Group of Seven countries urged North Korea to fully denuclearize and return to talks.
In a joint statement issued Wednesday, the diplomats said, “We call on the DPRK to refrain from provocative actions and to engage in a diplomatic process with the explicit goal of denuclearization,” “We remain committed to the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all of the DPRK’s unlawful Weapons of Mass Destruction and ballistic missile programmes in accordance with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the official name of North Korea.
The statement also called on North Korea to rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it withdrew from in 2003.
The G7 diplomats said they supported efforts by the United States to lead the way in working toward North Korean denuclearization.
“We welcome the readiness of the United States to continue its efforts in that regard and we remain committed to providing support,” the statement said.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table, saying the US has “a very clear policy that centres on diplomacy and it is up to North Korea to decide whether it wants to engage or not on that basis.”
Nuclear talks with Pyongyang have been stalled for more than two years, following the failure of a February 2019 summit between then-US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to reach an agreement.
North Korea had sought compromises such as the lifting of international sanctions in exchange for taking measures towards dismantling its nuclear arsenal, while the US had insisted on full denuclearization first.
Last week, Washington announced the completion of its North Korea strategy analysis, which Blinken described as a “a practical, calibrated approach” that involves strong cooperation with allies Japan and South Korea.
On Wednesday, Blinken met with his counterparts from South Korea, Chung Eui-Yong, and Japan, Toshimitsu Motegi, for trilateral talks, with North Korea as the main topic of conversation. South Korea, along with Australia, India, and the Republic of South Africa, was a guest country at the G7 summit.
The three diplomats “reaffirmed their commitment to concerted trilateral cooperation toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, as well as other issues of mutual interest,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price in a statement.
“They also agreed on the imperative of fully implementing relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions by U.N. member states, including North Korea, preventing proliferation and cooperating to strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the diplomats agreed to “further strengthen cooperation to make substantial progress in achieving complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
The G7 ministers have stated that they are “deeply preoccupied” with human rights violations in North Korea and urged the government to grant a United Nations special rapporteur entry.
“We remain gravely concerned about the documented accounts of human rights violations and abuses in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including in the regime’s extensive network of political prison camps,” the joint communique said.
According to the ministers, North Korea’s “the precarious humanitarian situation” is the product of the ruling Kim Jong Un regime’s “choice to prioritise its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programmes over the welfare of its own people.”