News

North Korea official: Kim rethinking U.S. talks, launch moratorium

North Korea official: Kim rethinking U.S. talks, launch moratorium
World
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Peace House of the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool)

Published Friday, March 15, 2019 12:46AM EDT

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People s Republic Of -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon make a decision on whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain the country s moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said, noting the U.S. threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.

She said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken -- such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests -- and changes its "political calculation."

Choe, who attended the Feb. 27-28 talks in Hanoi, said Kim was puzzled by what she called the "eccentric" negotiation position of the U.S. She suggested that while Trump was more willing to talk, the U.S. position was hardened by the uncompromising demands of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

"Personal relations between the two supreme leaders are still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful," she added.

She said it was entirely up to Kim whether to continue the launch and test moratorium, and said she expects he will "clarify his position" within a short period of time.

"On our way back to the homeland, our chairman of the state affairs commission said. For what reason do we have to make this train trip again?" she said. "I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the U.S. will eventually put the situation in danger. We have neither the intention to compromise with the U.S. in any form nor much less the desire or plan to conduct this kind of negotiation."

Choe questioned the claim by Trump at a news conference after the talks in Hanoi broke down that the North was seeking the lifting of all sanctions against it, and said it was seeking only the ones that are directed at its civilian economy. After the summit had ended, State Department officials clarified that was indeed the North s position, but said the lifting of economic sanctions was such a big demand that it would essentially subsidize the North s continued nuclear activity.

Choe said it was the U.S. that was being too demanding and inflexible.

"What is clear is that the U.S. has thrown away a golden opportunity this time," she said. "I m not sure why the U.S. came out with this different description. We never asked for the removal of sanctions in their entirety."

"This time we understood very clearly that the United States has a very different calculation to ours," she added.

She refused to comment directly when asked by one of the ambassadors about news reports the North may be preparing for another missile launch or satellite launch.

"Whether to maintain this moratorium or not is the decision of our chairman of the state affairs commission," she said, using one of Kim s titles. "He will make his decision in a short period of time."
Read more on CTVnews
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Top Stories
North Korea is considering suspending denuclearization talks with the United States unless Washington changes its stance after the breakdown of a summit meeting in Hanoi between President Trump and North...
World
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he expects North Korea s leader will live up to his commitment not to resume nuclear and missile tests. Mr Pompeo said...
World
March 6 U.S. President Donald Trump commented on Wednesday on reports that satellite images show activity at a North Korean missile site, saying he hopes it s not true and...
World
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA —North Korea fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile early Sunday, the news agency Yonhap reported, days after the election of President Moon Jae In in...
World
North Korean leader Kim Jong un may break off denuclearisation talks with the US and resume missile and nuclear testing, a senior official says. Vice Foreign Minister Choe Sun hui told foreign...