North Korea intends to break off denuclearisation talks with the U.S., a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday in comments carried by Russian state media.
“We have no intention to yield to the U.S. demands in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind,” Deputy Foreign Minister, Choe Hui was quoted as telling a news conference in Pyongyang.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un in February in Vietnam ended without significant progress in efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.
Trump told reporters at the time that the U.S. would be unable to accept North Korea’s request for total sanctions relief as a precondition for disarmament.
The talks broke down because the U.S. side was “too busy with pursuing their own political interests and had no sincere intention to achieve a result,” Choe said in comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.
Russia and China, which border North Korea, have the relatively closest diplomatic relations with the extremely insular North Korean state.
Amid the summit in Vietnam, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and U.S. National Security Adviser, John Bolton created an “atmosphere of hostility and mistrust,” Choe was quoted as saying.
That atmosphere “obstructed” Trump and Kim’s “constructive effort for negotiations,” the diplomat was quoted as saying.
Pyongyang has long sought a summit with the U.S. to reflect what the regime sees as its status as a regional military power.
Bill Clinton came close to agreeing to a meeting with Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, in 2000, but arrangements had not been made by the time he left office in January 2001.
Administration officials portrayed the invitation as a victory for Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure” and stressed that the US would not relax its stringent sanctions regime before North Korea began disarming.
A senior official said Trump “is not prepared to reward North Korea in exchange for talks”.
“President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right.
And I think in the president’s judgment that time has arrived now,” he said.
Trump himself confirmed the meeting in a tweet, adding that U.S. sanctions would remain in place until a denuclearisation deal was achieved.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Beijing was pleased with the “positive signals” while the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said a Trump-Kim meeting would be “a step in the right direction”. (dpa/NAN)