TEHRAN (defapress)- Pyongyang threatened on Friday to suspend negotiations with the administration of President Donald Trump, stressing that leader Kim Jong-un would soon decide whether to resume nuclear and missile tests.
News ID: 76200
Publish Date: 15March 2019 - 14:27
Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui blamed top American officials for the breakdown of last month’s summit in Hanoi between Trump and Kim, World News reported.
Addressing diplomats and foreign correspondents at a news conference in Pyongyang, she stressed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton had created an “atmosphere of hostility and mistrust” that thwarted the top leaders’ negotiations in Vietnam.
The North Korean delegation came to Hanoi with a realistic proposal of the US lifting some economic sanctions as a gesture of recognition of Pyongyang’s 15-month moratorium on nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Choe told diplomats and journalists.
Trump expressed to Kim that he was willing to show flexibility during a one-on-one meeting. But later, Pompeo and Bolton interfered, demanding full denuclearization before any sanctions would be lifted, which the North Koreans found “an absurd sophism”.
“We have no intention to yield to the US demands [at the Hanoi summit] in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind,” Choe added.
“I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger,” the North Korean official noted.
Choe stressed that Washington threw away a golden opportunity at the summit and warned that Pyongyang might end its self-imposed moratorium on tests of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
After the Hanoi meeting ended without a deal, Kim had serious doubts about the merits of continuing negotiations with Trump, Choe stressed, noting that the North Korean leader is set to make an official announcement soon on his position on the denuclearisation talks with the United States and Pyongyang’s further actions.
In early March, Choe warned that Kim is no longer interested in discussing denuclearization plans with Trump after their talks fell apart abruptly days ago.
Choe’s comments came weeks after the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, which finished abruptly without any deal or declaration due to the parties’ failure to agree on the scale of North Korea’s denuclearization and US-led sanctions relief.
Trump has stated that his talks with Kim broke down because the North Korean leader wanted the removal of sanctions "in their entirety", a claim rejected by Pyongyang, which insists it merely wanted a partial lifting of the biting economic penalties.
After their first face-to-face meeting in Singapore last June, which took place after a historic inter-Korean summit and Kim’s talks with Xi Jinping in China, the US and North Korean leaders agreed to work towards the denuclearization of the peninsula in exchange for sanctions relief and security guarantees.
But, US-North Korea talks for a denuclearization deal appear to have stalled, in part due to disagreements over the timing of sanctions relief. While Pyongyang has since stopped testing ballistic missiles or nuclear bombs, the Americans continue to insist the country's nuclear program must be fully dismantled before they deliver on their part of the deal. Also, North Korea is demanding a solid guarantee of its security and the removal of Washington’s nuclear umbrella protecting allies South Korea and Japan.
North Korea has also denounced the US administration for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the country, warning that disarming Pyongyang could be blocked forever. North Korean authorities have also complained about continued US and UN sanctions, calling them a “source of mistrust”.