Biden: North Korea must be ready for genuine negotiations

WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- The United States is ready for dialogue with North Korea, but only if that country is prepared to engage in genuine negotiations, Vice President Joe Biden said.

Biden touched on North Korea while speaking about the U.S. rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific at the Center for American Progress at George Washington University.


Noting that North Korea is again calling for dialogue, Biden said: "We've been there before. But we are ready. We are ready, but only if North Korea is prepared to engage in genuine negotiations."

The vice president, however, warned the United States will not accept the Communist country's pattern of provoking a crisis only to be followed by demands for reward for ceasing their actions.

"We've been there before, only to find that once they're gotten the space or the aid they need, they return to the same provocative, dangerous behavior and continue their nuclear march," Biden said.

He said North Korea can have peace and prosperity only without nuclear weapons. In this regard, he said: "North Korea has a clear choice. It can choose a better path for its people, or continue down the road they're on."


Biden said North Korea's nuclear and missile programs present a clear and present danger to stability in the area. In this regard, he said besides working closely with its allies Japan and South Korea, the United States is also engaged with China and with Russia.

He said the United States welcomes President Xi Jinping's statement saying it is China's priority to achieve a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

"Not just something they wish for, but a priority. We welcome that firm assertion," Biden said.

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