North Korea is considering suspending denuclearization talks with the United States unless Washington changes its stance after the breakdown of a summit meeting in Hanoi between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a senior official said Friday.
Kim Jong Un is set to make an official announcement soon on whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain the country’s moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told foreign diplomats and journalists in Pyongyang, the Associated Press reported.
The threat to suspend talks comes after evidence surfaced that North Korea has rebuilt a satellite rocket launchpad and amid speculation it might be preparing a rocket launch, a move that would seen as very provocative in Washington.
Choe said North Korea was deeply disappointed by the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi and said the United States had missed a golden opportunity there, though she still described the relations between Trump and Kim as “mysteriously wonderful.”
She said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States changes its “political calculation,” and takes measures that are commensurate with the steps North Korea has already taken, such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests, AP reported.
“On our way back to the homeland, our chairman of the state affairs commission said. ‘For what reason do we have to make this train trip again?’” she said, referring to Kim.
“I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the U.S. will eventually put the situation in danger,” she added. “We have neither the intention to compromise with the U.S. in any form nor much less the desire or plan to conduct this kind of negotiation.”
At the summit, Kim offered a partial shutdown of the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center, where a large part of North Korea’s fissile material is produced, in return for lifting almost all the meaningful economic sanctions on his country, U.S. officials say.
Trump rejected that deal on the grounds that it would allow Pyongyang to continue producing weapons of mass destruction, effectively financed by the lifting of sanctions. Globally, there was widespread agreement that North Korea was offering too little and demanding too much.
But Trump’s counter-offer was also widely seen as unrealistic. He tried to convince Kim to “go big,” and surrender his entire arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in return for “a bright future” economically.
Choe, who attended the Hanoi …read more