News ID: 259816
Published: 0317 GMT October 06, 2019

North Korea: US has no immediate alternative plan for talks

North Korea: US has no immediate alternative plan for talks
AP

North Korea said on Sunday that there was no way the United States would bring alternative plans for their stalled nuclear talks within two weeks.

The two countries were holding working-level talks in Sweden, but these were broken off on Saturday. The US State Department has said it had accepted Sweden’s invitation to return for more discussions with Pyongyang in two weeks, Reuters reported.

A spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the country had no will to have negotiations with the United States unless Washington took practical measures to “irreversibly withdraw” its hostile policy against the North, state run KCNA news agency said.

Meanwhile, AP wrote that the two sides had two different takes on their nuclear talks, with North Korea’s negotiator saying the talks had broken down but Washington maintaining the two sides had “good discussions” in Sweden that it intends to build on in two weeks.

The North Korean negotiator, Kim Myong-gil, said the talks in Stockholm on Saturday had “not fulfilled our expectations and broke down. I am very displeased about it.”

Speaking outside the North Korean embassy, he said that negotiations broke down “entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude” and came to a negotiating table with an “empty hand.”

Saturday’s talks were the first between the US and North Korea since the February breakdown of the second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. The two leaders held a brief, impromptu meeting at the Korean border in late June and agreed to restart diplomacy.

North Korea has since resumed missile and other weapons tests, including the first test of an underwater-launched missile in three years that fell inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone Wednesday.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Kim’s comments did “not reflect the content or the spirit” of the “good discussions” that took place over 8 ½ hours, adding that the US accepted the invitation from Sweden to return to Stockholm in two weeks to continue discussions. Kim, the North Korean negotiator, said North Korea proposed a suspension of talks until December.

The Vietnam summit fell apart because Trump rejected Kim Jong-un’s calls for extensive sanctions relief in return for dismantling his main nuclear complex, a partial disarmament step. North Korea has since demanded the United States come up with mutually acceptable proposals to salvage the nuclear diplomacy by the end of this year.

During the Stockholm meeting, the negotiator, Kim, said North Korea made it clear that the two countries can discuss next denuclearization steps by North Korea if the United States “sincerely responds” to the previous North Korean measures including the suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests and closing its underground nuclear testing site. He called the North Korean stance “practical and reasonable.”

Kim repeated North Korea’s previous statement that the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will only be possible when “all hurdles endangering our safety and obstructing our development are removed clearly and undoubtedly.” He said whether North Korea will lift its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests is completely up to the United States.

 

 

   
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