Saturday, 23 March, 2019

North Korea says it may suspend nuclear talks

Kim Jong Un attends wreath laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi Pyongyang set to break off denuclearization talks with Washington — diplomat
Ellis Copeland | 15 March, 2019, 23:09

"Just in the past hour, I spoke with my South Korean counterpart and we've discussed their reaction and our reaction, but I would like to speak further within United States government before we respond", Bolton told reporters on the White House North Lawn Friday.

"I saw the remark that she made", Pompeo said.

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

The North Korean delegation came to Hanoi with a realistic proposal of the United States 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.

Stephen Beigun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, said he expects talks and close engagement to continue.

"The two sides exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula and discussed urgent issues regarding the development of bilateral relations, including a schedule of political contacts and prospects for advancing cooperation in practical areas", Russia's foreign ministry said in a press statement.

President Trump said he walked away from the negotiating table because of different positions on what would be required for North Korea to receive sanction relief.

Choe said the North was deeply disappointed by the failure of the two sides to reach any agreements at last month's summit between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

It's not the first time either man has been blasted specifically by the North Koreans, who have tried to get Trump and Kim together in the belief that he is more amenable to their position.

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North Korea says Pyongyang has no intention of giving in to Washington's demands and Kim Jong Un would be making a statement soon on the possibility of further talks.

"We continue to work" to deliver on that, Pompeo said.

Choe accused said Washington had squandered a golden opportunity at the summit, warning Kim might rethink a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Earlier this week, Moon Chung-in, South Korean Special Adviser to the President for Foreign Affairs and National Security, told reporters that increasing sanctions wasn't an appropriate course of action if North Korea didn't denuclearize. "I have every expectation that we'll be able to continue to do that", Pompeo said Friday.

Image copyright EPA Image caption North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, seen here during the Hanoi summit What did North Korea say?

The North´s warning came amid concerns over its satellite rocket launch site, where some rebuilding activity has been observed in recent weeks, triggering global alarm that Pyongyang might be preparing a long-range missile or space launch.

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. "We are hopeful we can continue to have conversations and negotiations". Hanoi was supposed to be the part of the same old story where the US accepted a meager offer from North Korea and declared diplomatic victory, only to watch the North Koreans take back everything they "gave away" a few months later and demand fresh concessions to refrain from further provocations.

"Let me start by saying the obvious - that diplomacy is still very much alive", Stephen Biegun said at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, DC, on Monday.

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