A senior adviser to South Korea's president expressed a broad range of frustrations at U.S. policy toward North Korea, saying Washington has not adequately empowered Seoul to play a mediating role with Pyongyang.
In an interview with VOA, Jeong Se-Hyun, who advises South Korean President Moon Jae-in on unification issues, also said the U.S. should offer more incentives to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
"Don't act as if you're offering a carrot while really you are using a stick," said Jeong.
"North Korea must first be given carrots. Then if that doesn't work, you use a whip."
Jeong's comments come just ahead of North Korea's end-of-year deadline for the U.S. to offer more concessions in nuclear talks.
The North has threatened to resume long-range missile or nuclear tests — steps which could upend two years of diplomacy.
Amid the breakdown in talks, North Korea has lashed out at its neighbor to the south, calling it a "meddlesome mediator" and refusing to participate in inter-Korean projects.
His direct criticism of U.S. policy is a departure from the comments of most South Korean officials, who publicly insist the U.S.-South Korean approach to Pyongyang remains unified.
However, South Korean officials have for months privately complained about the slow pace of the nuclear talks, saying the U.S. refusal to relax sanctions has prevented Seoul from implementing inter-Korean agreements reached in 2018.
Source : VOA