U.S. special envoy for North Korea Sung Kim arrived Saturday in South Korea to reopen stalled denuclearization talks with the North. 

U.S.-North Korea negotiations were halted more than two years ago over easing U.S.-led sanctions against the North in exchange for winding down its nuclear weapons program. 

Sung’s visit comes after North Korea launched a new ballistic missile from a submarine Tuesday off its east coast, the latest in a series missile tests carried out by the North. 

Kim told reporters Saturday he anticipated “productive” talks with South Korean officials during their Sunday meeting. 

The North has rejected U.S. appeals to reopen talks, demanding the U.S. end its “hostile policy” of sanctions and joint military exercises with South Korea. 

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Ho accused the U.S. Saturday of escalating military tensions with China through its “reckless” support of Taiwan with weapons and training. He also said the U.S.’s increasing military presence in the region is a likely threat to the North. 

Pak’s criticism of the U.S. comes one day after President Joe Biden said during a CNN townhall that the U.S. was committed to defending Taiwan if it is attacked by China. 

Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press and Reuters.

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