U.S. envoy urges North Korea to cease provocations, refrain from conducting nuclear test
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea called Tuesday on Pyongyang to stop all military provocations and voiced concerns over a possible North Korean nuclear test, as he stressed the importance of Washington’s alliance with Seoul to counter challenges in the region.
U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg made the remarks during a forum hosted by the Kwanhun Club, saying that “every indication” shows that Pyongyang is headed in the direction of carrying out a nuclear test, adding he cannot predict the exact timing of the test.
“I have to say such a step would be further evidence of irresponsibility and of engaging in threats and provocation that only heighten tensions in the region,” he said.
Goldberg’s comments came as North Korea has ratcheted up tensions on the peninsula with a barrage of provocative missile launches in recent weeks amid growing concerns it may soon conduct a nuclear test.
On the controversy surrounding the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Goldberg said the IRA’s main target is dealing with issues of “climate change and supply chains” and added Washington will communicate with the South Korean government and businesses to address their concerns over the exclusion of South Korean companies from tax breaks.
Goldberg stressed that bilateral relations between the United States and South Korea cannot be characterized as a “zero-sum game” as the two countries continue to “work together to collaborate in every sector of the economy.”
Signed by U.S. President Joe Biden in August, the IRA gives tax credits to buyers of electric vehicles (EVs) assembled only in North America, sparking concerns that carmakers here will lose ground in the U.S. market as they make EVs at domestic plants for export.
Goldberg previously served as Washington’s coordinator for the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang from 2009-10.