A senior U.S. official says that appeasement is not South Korea's policy on North Korea and that Seoul and Washington have no differences in their North Korea policy.
Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary for the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau at the State Department, made the remarks on Tuesday during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
Thornton said that Seoul had "come around very nicely" and appeasement is not South Korea's policy, when asked if she believes President Moon Jae-in has a policy of appeasing the North.
U.S. President Donald Trump had raised controversy after writing on his Twitter early this month that South Korea is finding that "their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work."
Regarding the U.S.’ move to end its free trade agreement with South Korea, Thornton said that such a move does not help Washington's diplomatic efforts to counter North Korean nuclear threats. She added that the U.S. hopes to improve the bilateral trade deal as well as cooperate with South Korea on the North Korean issues.
The U.S. official also said that Washington has made it clear that it does not seek a regime change or a collapse of North Korea, adding it is not looking for an excuse to send military to the North.
Regarding Washington's "maximum pressure" strategy on the North, Thornton said the success of that strategy depends on cooperation from the U.S.’ global allies especially China.