Offer still on the table for N. Korea to denuclearize: White House
The rationale of the US in making such an "offer" is entwined with the intent of subduing a nation that suffered at the hands of the US.
National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said on Sunday that the US is still ready for talks with North Korea over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Over the last few weeks, North Korea launched 9 missile tests, some of which flew over Japan and prompted the US to condemn the exercises, calling them a danger to civil aviation.
On the same day, the DPRK defended its missile tests as a legitimate counter to US military threats in the region amid heightened military drills with its allies.
Earlier today, Kirby told ABC’s This Week show that the US is working on increasing its joint military cooperation with South Korea and Japan to "counter threats" from Kim Jong Un.
According to Kirby, Kim "has decided not to take us up on that offer.”
“Quite the opposite: now he has improved his ballistic missile program. He has clearly not abandoned his nuclear weapons ambitions," he added.
After North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Sunday, South Korea said it will reinforce cooperation over security with the US and Japan, including the redeployment of "US strategic assets."
Kirby said that over the past two weeks, the missile tests added up to 10 launched by North Korea but the real number is 9.
The USS Ronald Reagan, which was heading away after finishing four-day joint naval exercises with the South Korean Navy in the East Sea on September 29, was seen making a U-turn after one of the missiles flew over Japan.
On Thursday, the group returned to waters off the Korean peninsula and held missile-defense exercises with naval forces from Japan and South Korea.
On Saturday, North Korea’s Defense Ministry said the redeployment of the USS Ronald Reagan was causing a “considerably huge negative splash” in regional security.
"We want to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, verifiable and complete, and we have communicated to the North Koreans," said Kirby.
"So what we have to do as we have that offer on the table is make sure that we have also the capabilities in the region and ready to go in case we need them," he added.
North Korea has been firing ballistic missiles since late September in reaction to the US and South Korea's unwillingness to suspend military drills near its territory, which Pyongyang regards as a dress rehearsal for war.
Read more: Pyongyang: DPRK's missile testing legitimate for countering US threats