By Lee Jihae
President Moon Jae-in on Dec. 16 hosted talks with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun at Cheong Wa Dae.
Hailing Biegun for "steadfastly endeavoring" for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a permanent peace regime, the president asked the American diplomat to continue his efforts to achieve progress in the peace process on the peninsula.
Biegun responded by saying Washington will not give up and will continue doing its best to achieve denuclearization of and peace on the peninsula through dialogues and negotiations.
Also holding talks with his Seoul counterpart Lee Do-hoon, Biegun later told reporters that he will directly speak to his North Korean counterparts to resolve the issues through dialogue.
"We are here to continue the pursuit of a way forward for our negotiations with North Korea. We have not made as nearly as much progress as we would have hoped, but we will not give up," Biegun said.
"The United States does not have a deadline. We have a goal to fulfill the commitments the two leaders made during their historic summit meeting in Singapore."
He added, "Let me speak directly to our counterparts in North Korea. It is time for us to do our jobs. Let's get this done. We are here and you know how to reach us."
Biegun called "unnecessary" a series of "hostile and negative" comments Pyeongyang made in the past month about the U.S. and its allies, adding, "As always, it is our fervent prayer and hope that this (Christmas) day will usher in a season of peace."