News ID: 271029
Published: 0224 GMT July 04, 2020

North Korea says no need to sit down with US for talks

North Korea says no need to sit down with US for talks

North Korea does not feel the need to have talks with the United States, which would be nothing more than "a political tool" for Washington, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Saturday, ahead of a US envoy's visit to South Korea.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said negotiations would not work out between Washington and Pyongyang and there will be no change in North Korea's policy.

"We do not feel any need to sit face to face with the US, as it does not consider the DPRK-US dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis," Choe said in a statement.

He reiterated the North has no immediate plans to resume nuclear negotiations unless the US discards “hostile” policies.

US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun is due to visit South Korea next week to discuss stalled talks with North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un should meet again before the US election in November, which would help resume the stalled nuclear negotiations.

US former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York Thursday that Trump might seek another summit with Kim as an “October surprise” ahead of the US presidential election.

Trump and Kim met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore. They met again in Vietnam in 2019, but the talks fell apart when Trump said Kim had failed to offer enough nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles in exchange for lifting international sanctions.

At their third meeting, in June 2019 at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, the two agreed to restart negotiations. Working-level talks between the two sides in Sweden in October were broken off.

Kim entered 2020 vowing to bolster his nuclear deterrent in face of “gangster-like” US sanctions and pressure. Choe’s statement followed a series of similar declarations by the North that it would no longer gift Trump with high-profile meetings he could boast of as his foreign policy achievements unless it gets something substantial in return.

“Is it possible to hold dialogue or have any dealings with the US which persists in the hostile policy toward the DPRK in disregard of the agreements already made at the past summit?” Choe said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Some analysts believe North Korea would avoid serious negotiations with the United States at least until the November presidential election as there’s a chance US leadership could change.

Choe said the North has already established a “detailed strategic timetable” for managing what she described as US threats.

“The US is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us,” she said.

Reuters and AP contributed to this story.




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