N. Korea reconsiders denuclearization talks with US

Pyongyang set to break off denuclearization talks with Washington — diplomat

Pyongyang set to break off denuclearization talks with Washington — diplomat

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui blamed top U.S. officials for the breakdown of last month's summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Russia's TASS news agency and the Associated Press reported.

Choe told reporters Friday that North Korea has "no intention to yield to the USA demands" put forward at the February summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi, "in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind".

Choe, who attended the Hanoi summit, said Kim was puzzled by what she called the "eccentric" negotiation position of the United States, but she said the North Korean leader still had a good relationship with Trump.

The main obstacle to agreement between the two sides was reportedly the question of sanctions: Washington says it wants all weapons of mass destruction eliminated by North Korea before economic sanctions are dropped, while Pyongyang envisages lifting the main sanctions in return for an only partial dismantling of its nuclear infrastructure.

"I saw the remarks [Ms Choe] made - she left open the possibility negotiations would continue".

Kim had committed multiple times to Trump in Hanoi that he would not to resume nuclear or missile testing, Pompeo said.

According to Choe, the decision will be included in an official statement from Kim concerning the direction North Korea plans to take in the wake of the Hanoi summit. "We are hopeful we can continue to have conversations and negotiations". "The government will put every effort to resume the North Korean - U.S. talks".

President Trump said during a press conference that Pyongyang requested all sanctions be lifted in exchange for its continued moratorium on missile and nuclear tests, as well as the decommissioning of its Yongbyon test facility. "They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that", Mr Trump told reporters.

In addition, Moon said, "The role of South Korea in this situation, or the role of President Moon [Jae-in] is not a mediator but facilitator, because a mediator should be an interest-free party, but South Korea is also involved in this problem". Pyongyang is aware that Donald Trump has boasted about his ability to get Mr Kim to stop firing missiles and testing nuclear missiles.

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South Korea, which has an ambitious agenda of engagement with North Korea that is dependent on Pyongyang and Washington resolving at least some of their differences, said it was too early to tell what Choe's comments might mean.

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

Mr Trump and Mr Pompeo clearly stated after last month's talks that North Korean officials had asked for full sanctions relief.

"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.

Satellite imagery has revealed activity at a North Korea rocket site, though USA officials say there's no signs yet that Pyongyang is preparing to restart testing. "It is likely to gauge the USA reaction in the days ahead before making a decision to launch a rocket", he said.

Bolton said Friday he has spoken with his South Korean counterpart about the North Korea allegations.

Choe said following the Hanoi talks Kim might lose his commitment to pursue a deal with the USA after it rejected a request to lift sanctions in return for Pyongyang destroying its main nuke site.

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for North Korea said Washington would not accept a phased denuclearization by Pyongyang and maintained that the two nations remain closely engaged despite the collapse of the Hanoi summit.

"As long as there's no testing", said Mr Trump, "I'm in no rush".

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