North Korea mulls suspending denuclearization talks with U.S., diplomat says

Hugh Fox
March 16, 2019

A representative for the regime told state media that Bolton, along with U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, "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".

Choe said Washington threw away a golden opportunity at the summit and warned that Kim might rethink a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, the AP said.

The North´s warning came amid concerns over its satellite rocket launch site, where some rebuilding activity has been observed in recent weeks, triggering worldwide alarm that Pyongyang might be preparing a long-range missile or space launch.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, February 28, 2019, in Hanoi. But those meetings broke down after the USA demanded a full declaration of North Korea's nuclear inventory up front - a "gangster-like demand", according to the regime.

Pyongyang has long sought a summit with the reflect what the regime sees as its status as a regional military power.

Choe claimed Friday that despite the way things ended in Hanoi, personal relations remain good between Trump and Kim.

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The main obstacle to agreement between the two sides was reportedly the question of sanctions: Washington says it wants all weapons of mass destruction eliminated by North Korea before economic sanctions are dropped, while Pyongyang envisages lifting the main sanctions in return for an only partial dismantling of its nuclear infrastructure.

"It's the administration's desire that we continue to have conversations around this", Pompeo said.

Russian Federation and China, which border North Korea, have the relatively closest diplomatic relations with the extremely insular North Korean state.

"I saw the remark that she made", Pompeo said.

"And following that we continued to have very professional conversations", Pompeo pointed out.

He did, however, offer no specifics on when any new summit might be arranged. 'I'm not sure why the US came out with this different description.

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That definition, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton said last week, called for the "elimination of their nuclear weapons program", as well as a decommissioning of Pyongyang's "chemical and biological weapons... and their ballistic missile program ended as well". "That's Chairman Kim's word, I have every expectation he'll live up to that".

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

"This time we understood very clearly that the United States has a very different calculation to ours", she added. North Korea has always been good at throwing brushback pitches, spiking up hostile statements while looking for diplomatic openings.

In addition, Moon said, "The role of South Korea in this situation, or the role of President Moon [Jae-in] is not a mediator but facilitator, because a mediator should be an interest-free party, but South Korea is also involved in this problem".

Miller also characterized the developments at Sohae as a way for North Korea to place additional pressure on Washington leading up to the summit to signal that the talks are a "fragile process", but that approach didn't yield the results Pyongyang had hoped for.

The spokeswoman said the ministry had not confirmed why the North Korean officials decided not to attend.

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