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North Korea say US offered to resume nuclear talks in December

In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, in Hanoi. Photo: AP/ Evan Vucci
In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, in Hanoi.

Updated: November 14, 2019 08:29 AM

North Korea on Thursday said the United States has proposed a resumption of stalled nuclear negotiations in December as they approach an end-of-year deadline set by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer an acceptable deal to salvage the talks.

In a statement released by state media, North Korean negotiator Kim Myong Gil didn’t clearly say whether the North would accept the supposed U.S. offer.

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He said North Korea has no interest in talks if they are aimed at buying time without discussing solutions. He said the North isn’t willing to make a deal over “matters of secondary importance,” such as possible U.S. offers to formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which was halted by a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, or establish a liaison office between the countries.

“If the negotiated solution of issues is possible, we are ready to meet with the U.S. at any place and any time,” said Kim Myong Gil, who called for Washington to present a fundamental solution for discarding its “hostile policy” toward North Korea.


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“If the U.S. still seeks a sinister aim of appeasing us in a bid to pass the time limit — the end of this year — with ease as it did during the DPRK-U.S. working-level negotiations in Sweden early in October, we have no willingness to have such negotiations,” he said, using the abbreviation of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Nuclear negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam collapsed after the U.S. side rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

The working-level talks last month in Sweden broke down over what the North Koreans described as the Americans’ “old stance and attitude.”

Kim Myong Gil, who was North Korea’s lead negotiator at the Stockholm talks, said Stephen Biegun, Trump’s special envoy for North Korea, proposed via an unspecified third country to hold another round of talks in December.

“I cannot understand why he spreads the so-called idea of DPRK-U.S. relations through the third party, not thinking of candidly making direct contact with me, his dialogue partner, if he has any suggestions or any idea over the DPRK-U.S. dialogue,” Kim Myong Gil said of Biegun. “His behavior only amplifies doubts about the U.S.”

The statement came a day after North Korea’s State Affairs Commission, its supreme decision-making body, lashed out at planned U.S.-South Korean military drills and warned that Washington will face a “greater threat” if it ignores Kim Jong Un’s deadline.

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Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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