North Korea Won’t Hold New Talks with US
By Staff, Agencies
North Korea stated that it is not intending to hold new negotiations with the United States, following a call by South Korea for Pyongyang and Washington to hold a new summit.
Kwon Jong-gun, the director general for US affairs at the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said in a statement on Tuesday that South Korea’s call for a revival of talks was “nonsensical” and urged Seoul to stop meddling.
Last Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to meet once again before the presidential election in the United States. He said another summit between Trump and Kim would help resume stalled negotiations over demilitarization on the Korean Peninsula.
The South’s president has been trying to mediate between the North and the United States. Trump and Kim have already met three times, mainly on his auspices.
But Kwon, the North Korean official, made clear that President Moon’s good offices were no more needed.
“It is just the time for [South Korea] to stop meddling in others’ affairs, but it seems there is no cure or prescription for its bad habit,” Kwon said.
“Explicitly speaking once again, we have no intention to sit face to face with the United States,” the senior North Korean diplomat said.
North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui had on Saturday dismissed the possibility of new talks with the US.
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who led the Trump administration’s previous talks with North Korea, arrived in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss with South Korean officials the potential resumption of the talks with the North.
North Korea has been under harsh US sanctions for years over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Although Trump and Kim have met three times, the US president has refused to relieve any of the sanctions on the North. Talks have gradually stopped as a result.