Victor Cha, a former United States nuclear negotiator, asked the Trump administration Thursday to include the issue of North Korea's human rights while negotiating with the regime about its nuclear weapons program. The remarks come amid a perceived deadlock in talks between the U.S. and North about denuclearization.

In prepared remarks for a congressional human rights panel, the former deputy head of the U.S. delegation to six-party denuclearization talks with North Korea said the Trump administration was following the past U.S. administrations’ in avoiding the regime’s human rights issue while denuclearization negotiations were under way, Yonhap News reported.

"When there is no diplomacy on denuclearization taking place with North Korea, we amp up the volume on human rights, support defector testimonies castigating the regime, and support efforts to get outside information into the country," he said. "But once the negotiations begin, the human rights issue becomes too uncomfortable, and too inconvenient to talk about.”

Cha, who served on the White House National Security Council under President George W. Bush, believes negotiators not only thought the human rights issue will distract from the main issue of denuclearization but feared it might offend the regime.

“Yet, there is no zero-sum relationship between human rights and denuclearization. A North Korea that is improving its human rights record would signal more of a commitment to reform and joining the community of nations than almost any other measure. This could make more credible any actions they take on the denuclearization front (with outside verification),” he continued.

According to Cha, neglecting the human rights abuses in U.S. diplomacy talks with North Korea did not bring Washington closer to its goal of the regime’s denuclearization in the past three decades.

“The task is to find the sweet spot between denuclearization, peace, and the promotion of human rights in the country. These are not as diametrically opposed objectives as we may have been led to believe,” he said.

Amid stalled negotiations to implement the deal, Kim Jong Un met South Korean envoys last week and reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. He also said he had faith in President Donald Trump’s commitment to end their nations' hostile relations. The North Korean leader added he never talked negatively about Trump to anyone including his closest advisers and also wished for the two nations to put an end to their hostile relations before the end of the POTUS’ first term.

“Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!” Trump had recently tweeted.

In the historic Singapore summit, Kim had committed to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from Washington.