The vice foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea and the United States on Wednesday renewed their invitations to North Korea to resume denuclearization dialog, which has been stalled since 2019 and showing little sign of progress during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The United States has made it clear that we are ready to engage with North Korea. They know that. We hope they'll respond positively," US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said during a joint press conference after trilateral talks with South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong-kun and Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori.

"But as my colleagues have said, we must exercise some patience. Perhaps not too much, but some," she added, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Sherman acknowledged that North Korea is also struggling with sanctions and the pandemic that commands the focus of the regime, which keeps its borders closed to prevent the entry of the virus.