North Korea considering suspending nuclear talks with US

Elias Hubbard
March 15, 2019

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un salutes on March 5 in Pyongyang upon his return after the Vietnam summit.

The two leaders first met in Singapore previous year, in an unprecedented summit between a U.S. sitting president and a North Korean leader.

In a press conference for foreign media in Pyongyang, the North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said Pyongyang had no intention of giving into U.S. demands.

North Korea has no intention to yield to US demands or engage in negotiations of this kind, Choe told a press conference in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, TASS reported.

She also said that during an extended meeting, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US National Security Adviser John Bolton "created the atmosphere of hostility and mistrust and, therefore, obstructed the constructive effort for negotiations between the supreme leaders of North Korea and the United States".

Kim is set to make an official announcement soon on his position regarding talks with the United States and the North's further actions, it added, citing Choe, who was addressing a news conference in the North Korean capital.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said the United States missed a golden opportunity in Hanoi, and warned that Kim may rethink his moratorium on missile launches, the Associated Press reported. "I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger".

After the summit had ended, State Department officials clarified that was indeed the North's position, but said the lifting of economic sanctions was such a big demand that it would essentially subsidize the North's continued nuclear activity.

In response, Seoul's presidential office said that the South Korean government will continue the efforts to faciliate dialogue between USA and North Korea under any circumstances.

The comments run counter to optimism displayed by a US negotiator this week, despite the collapse of last month's talks in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

"What is clear is that the USA has thrown away a golden opportunity this time", she said.

The second Trump-Kim summit broke down over differences about USA demands for Pyongyang to denuclearise and North Korea's demand for dramatic relief from global sanctions imposed for its nuclear and missile tests, which it pursued for years in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

"This time we understood very clearly that the United States has a very different calculation to ours", she added.

North Korea is considering suspending nuclear talks with the United States and its leader may rethink a ban on missile tests, news reports from the North's capital on Friday quoted a senior official as saying.

"Whether to maintain this moratorium or not is the decision of our chairman of the state affairs commission", she said, using one of Kim's titles.

Journalists were not allowed to ask questions during the briefing, which lasted almost an hour.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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