North Korea is reiterating that it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear talks with the United States, unless Washington discards what it describes as “hostile” policies to Pyongyang
Associated press KIM TONG-HYUNG
July 4, 2020 at 6:21 am
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SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea reiterated on Saturday that it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear talks with the United States unless Washington discards what it describes as “hostile” policies to Pyongyang.
The statement by South Korea’s first deputy foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, came after former President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York on Thursday that Trump could seek another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an “October surprise” ahead of the US presidential election.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has lobbied to help start the now stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, also expressed hope that Trump and Kim will meet again before the election in a video conference with European leaders on Tuesday .
Kim and Trump have met three times since they embarked on their high-risk nuclear diplomacy in 2018, but negotiations have failed since their second summit in February last year in Vietnam, where Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions in return. of a partial. renouncing its nuclear capacity.
Kim entered 2020 promising to step up his nuclear deterrence in the face of US “gangster-like” sanctions and pressures. Choe’s statement followed a series of similar statements from the North that he would no longer offer Trump high-level meetings that he could be proud of as his foreign policy achievements, unless he received something substantial in return.
“Is it possible to maintain a dialogue or have any relationship with the US that persists in hostile politics towards the DPRK, disregarding the agreements already made at the last summit?” Choe said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“We do not feel the need to come face to face with the United States, as he does not regard the dialogue between North Korea and the United States as nothing more than a tool to deal with his political crisis,” she said.
Some analysts believe that North Korea would avoid serious negotiations with the United States at least until the November presidential elections, as there is a chance that the US leadership will change.
Choe said the North had already established a “detailed strategic timeline” to manage what it described as American threats.
“The US is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work for us,” she said.
In the past few months, the North has also increased pressure against South Korea, destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatened to abandon a bilateral military agreement designed to reduce tensions. After months of frustration with Seoul’s unwillingness to defy US-led sanctions and restart joint economic projects that would bring the broken economy of the North to life.
Northern state media said on Friday that Kim, while overseeing a meeting of the governing Workers’ Party Politburo on Thursday, discussed “import issues related to foreign affairs”, but did not specify what they were.