“We are aware of the reports and refer you to the Republic of Korea,” the statement said. “The United States remains open to credible talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. However, conditions must change before there is any scope for talks to resume.”
The statement repeated the requirement that the North must abandon its nuclear and missile programs, which Mr. Kim has said he will never do because they are his guarantee against an American-led effort to topple North Korea’s government.
The South hoped to send a military delegation to the border village of Panmunjom on Friday to discuss “stopping all hostile activities that raise military tension” along the border, Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk said on Monday.
Mr. Kim proposed such talks in a May 2016 speech. But Park Geun-hye, a conservative president of South Korea who has since been impeached and removed from office, rejected the offer, calling it insincere and demanding that the North first move toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program.
Mr. Moon reaffirmed his commitment to dialogue in a speech in Berlin this month, days after Pyongyang conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The outreach to the South comes as the United States is reviewing its economic, military and covert options to deal with the North Korean threat.
After attempting to convince China to intervene more heavily, Mr. Trump has suggested that the United States will go its own way, and that effort seems quite likely to begin with new sanctions on small Chinese financial institutions that do business with North Korea. Chinese trade with the North has increased over the past year, even as Beijing has said it is complying with United Nations sanctions on specific transactions, including the importation of coal.
At the same time, the United States has bolstered its naval presence off the Korean Peninsula and continued cyberattacks aimed at slowing the North’s missile…