North Korea must commit itself to denuclearisation in order to come for talks with the US, a top American official has said.

“Our view is that North Korea must commit itself to denuclearization, which they in fact did in 2005 in the joint statement that was the heart of Six Party Talks,” said Joseph Yun the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, during a Congressional hearing here yesterday.

“Only if they have credible and authentic commitment to denuclearization, can we even consider engagement,” Yun said.

Responding to a question from Senator Marco Rubio, Yun said South Korea is a case-in-point of what openness can achieve in terms of both economic strength and freedoms that go with it.

“We have had a very, very strong alliance relationship — perhaps second-to-none in the world — with South Korea, and a big part of that is what we’ve called extended deterrence.

That is, we have committed to defending South Korea against all external attacks,” he said.

In his remarks, Senator Benjamin Cardin said that the threat of nuclear proliferation lingers over the Korean Peninsula.

“Disputes over territorial and historical claims persist.

And ensuring free navigation along the critical maritime trade routes and the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas is in the national interests of the United States,” he said.