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

Blanche Robertson
March 15, 2019

"In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the president and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing nor would he resume missile testing", Pompeo said.

"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. "We have every expectation he will live up to that commitment".

According to the deputy minister, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to make an official statement soon to announce his country's further actions in the wake of the unsuccessful Hanoi summit.

She suggested that while Trump was more willing to talk, the USA position was hardened by the uncompromising demands of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

North Korea intends to break off denuclearisation talks with the US, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday in comments carried by Russian state media.

Kim would make an announcement soon on his position on the denuclearization talks and North Korea's next steps, TASS quoted Choe as saying.

"I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger", AP quoted Choe as saying.

"The failure of the talks came despite what Choe described as a "mysteriously wonderful" chemistry" between Trump and Kim.

President Moon: Call Chairman Kim. Speaking at a conference on Monday, U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun said the administration was clear and unified in its position. He also noted that Trump has "made clear" how disappointed he would be if testing resumed.

Choe said it was the USA that was being too demanding and inflexible.

"We can not judge the current situation based exclusively on Vice Minister Choe Son Hui's statements".

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In response, Seoul's presidential office said that the South Korean government will continue the efforts to faciliate dialogue between USA and North Korea under any circumstances.

"(We) are keeping close tabs on the situation.

Choe's comments echoed the North's usual rhetoric at tense points in its dealings with Washington.

"They're putting down a marker, saying which way things are headed if nothing changes", Pollack, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, said.

In Washington this week, USA special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said the United States expected to be able to continue its close engagement, though he offered no specifics on when new talks might be held. "It is likely to gauge the USA reaction in the days ahead before making a decision to launch a rocket", he said.

North Korean media did its part on Thursday by urging the United States to accept the offer it rejected in Hanoi: large-scale sanctions relief in exchange for North Korea dismantling the nuclear facility at Yongbyon.

Mr Pompeo said Kim Jong-un had promised US President Donald Trump in Vietnam that testing would not resume.

Speaking of the issues regarding the DPRK, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday urged all parties to remain patient and to seize the opportunity to promote dialogue between the US and the DPRK.

"Comments from North Korean officials threatening to discard diplomacy and return to nuclear testing if the United States doesn't lift a wide range of sanctions is nothing short of extortion", he said in a statement.

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

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