In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency on Monday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said Pyongyang was willing to have “comprehensive discussions” with the United States in late September at a time and place agreed upon between both sides, Presstv Reported.
She, however, warned the US against resorting to old tricks and scenario that bring no results, saying, “I want to believe that the US side would come out with an alternative based on a calculation method that serves both sides’ interests and is acceptable to us.”
“If the US side toys with an old scenario that has nothing to do with the new method at working-level talks, which would be held after difficulties, a deal between the two sides may come to an end,” Choe said.
The official warned on Saturday that recent “thoughtless” remarks made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Pyongyang’s behavior would further complicate resumption of the talks.
She warned that Pyongyang’s expectations of talks with Washington were gradually disappearing and the country was being pushed to reexamine all measures.
Pompeo recently said Washington “recognized that North Korea’s rogue behavior could not be ignored.”
North Korea has suggested that Pompeo be replaced with a “more mature” person.
Talks between the two sides have stalled since the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam broke up without an agreement or even a joint statement.
Trump walked away from the summit, claiming that Kim had insisted on the removal of all sanctions on North Korea. Pyongyang, however, rejected that account, stressing that it had only asked for a partial lifting of the bans.
Following the failure of the summit, the North repeatedly warned that it was considering ending talks on denuclearization and resuming its nuclear and missile tests over what it described as “the gangster-like stand” of the US.
In their third, brief meeting at the Korean border at the end of June, Kim and Trump agreed to kick-start working-level talks.
Washington has so far refused to offer any sanctions relief in return for several unilateral steps already taken by North Korea. Pyongyang has also demolished at least one nuclear test site and agreed to allow international inspectors into a missile engine test facility.
The US now demands that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons entirely before the sanctions are lifted. Pyongyang insists on a step-by-step approach that would include verifiable American commitment to end its massive military presence near North Korean territorial waters.