South Korea and the United States agreed to continue efforts to bring North Korea back to dialogue on denuclearization.
The agreement came during a meeting Wednesday between South Korea's top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon and visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who is also Washington's point man on the North.
The two sides discussed ways to break the ongoing deadlock, where Lee highlighted the need to exert all-out efforts for a swift resumption as dialogue and negotiation are the only ways to resolve the nuclear issue.
Biegun expressed full support for Seoul's push to resume inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation, adding that cross-border cooperation helps create a stable environment on the Korean Peninsula.
Regarding the North's recent refusal to sit down for talks in a statement issued by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, Biegun said he hadn't requested a meeting during his visit to Seoul this week.
The official said Washington would return to talks when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is ready to negotiate the terms of his agreement with President Donald Trump on denuclearization and bringing peace to the peninsula.