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North Korea Threatens to End Talks With U.S.

Hot Issues of the Week2019-03-17


North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui says her government is considering suspending its current nuclear negotiations with the U.S.

"The United States showed no sincerity toward improving the DPRK-U.S. relations or fulfilling the joint statement the two countries signed in Singapore. Instead, it intended to use the (second) meeting to serve its political purposes."


Choe held a news conference in Pyongyang on Friday saying that North Korea has no intention to make concessions in the current stalemate.


While claiming that the U.S. lost a "golden opportunity" at the Hanoi summit last month, she said North Korea will soon decide whether to resume missile launches and nuclear tests.

"This bad attitude on the U.S. part will put the situation in danger. Our supreme leader will soon announce his decision (on what measures the DPRK will take)."


Kim Jong-un's second summit with President Donald Trump ended without an agreement as the U.S.’s demands for denuclearization collided with North Korea's calls for sanctions relief.


Shortly after the summit, Trump blamed North Korea for the collapse, saying the North wanted all of the U.S.-led UN sanctions lifted.


North Korea’s top diplomat Ri Yong-ho said Kim only wanted five of eleven sanctions adopted between 2016 and 2017 removed.


“We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally, and that is the position [on] which the US government has a complete unity...” 


Earlier this week, Washington's chief nuclear negotiator Stephen Biegun made it clear that his government is not interested in a step-by-step approach to the North's denuclearization.


"What the North Koreans were proposing is to eliminate some portion of their nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of basically all sanctions... some cases might directly subsidize the ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction."


Biegun held a meeting on Thursday with ambassadors of the UN Security Council members as well as South Korean and Japanese officials, during which he asked for their help to keep North Korea on a dialogue track.


"Very useful information sharing."

"Well, we were debriefed by Mr. Biegun about what happened in Hanoi, and where we are now in terms of negotiations, and where to go from here. And we have now a clear understanding of what happened and what to do in terms of solidarity among Security Council members."


The continuing deadlock comes amid various intelligence assessments which suggest that North Korea has started to rebuild a key rocket testing facility on its northwestern coast.

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