Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 4, 2022
QUESTION: Ambassador, your Chinese colleagues said that the U.S. needs to do more, and he specifically referred to the Hanoi Summit and the Singapore Summit, which President Trump had with the Supreme Leader Kim. So, is it time for President Biden to get directly involved in the diplomacy?
AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: The United States has made clear that we are willing to meet with the North Koreans without preconditions. But before we can commit our President to meeting, we need to have a better sense of what there is to achieve.
I can’t comment on what the Trump Administration achieved. We had ballistic missiles testing throughout the past four years – it never stopped him – so we have to keep up the pressure.
QUESTION: If they engage, it could lead to a meeting with President Biden – if the North Koreans engage in diplomacy – that is something you’re not ruling out?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: If the conditions are there, certainly, we would look at that. But we, right now, are in a situation where we’ve not been able to bring them to the diplomatic table for any discussions whatsoever.
QUESTION: Ambassador, is there any talk of the resolution that China and Russia tabled on ‘freeze-for-freeze’? Is it in any way feasible?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: That resolution rewards the DPRK for bad behavior. And there is no reason for this Council to reward them for nine ballistic, nine tests in one month – almost as many in the previous year. They have not earned that. We care about the humanitarian situation on the ground there. We have worked to provide humanitarian support in every way possible. But to spend millions of dollars on military tests when your people are starving, I think, indicates that this country does not care about its own people.
QUESTION: Ambassador, are you expecting Russia and China to agree to your statement? Have they given any indication?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We are still working on that. We were told that the Chinese have sent their statement to Beijing – I think you spoke to him – so you heard that today.