Mon, Oct 07, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Talks break down due to US: North Korea

AFP and AP, SEOUL and HELSINKI

North Korean negotiator Kim Miyong-gil, center, reads a statement outside the North Korean embassy in Stockholm on Saturday night.

Photo: AP / Kyodo News

North Korea yesterday said it has “no desire” to continue nuclear talks unless the US takes steps to end hostilities, a day after negotiations in Sweden broke down.

The discussions in Sweden followed months of stalemate following a February meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong -un and US President Donald Trump, and came after Pyongyang’s test of a sea-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday.

The North on Saturday walked away from the Sweden talks saying it was disappointed at the lack of “new and creative” solutions offered by Washington.

Pyongyang has “no desire to hold such nauseating negotiations such as this one unless the US takes practical measures to end hostile policies,” a spokesman for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“The fate of the US-North Korea dialogue is in Washington’s hands and the deadline is until the end of this year,” he said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency .

In Stockholm on Saturday night, the North’s leading negotiator, Kim Myong-gil, blamed the US for not giving up their “old attitude,” which led to talks ending “without any outcome.”

“I am very displeased about it,” he told reporters out the North Korean embassy.

However, Washington called the talks “good discussions,” saying the comments by North Korea did not reflect the content or the spirit of their eight-and-a-half-hour discussion.

The US has accepted Sweden’s invitation to resume talks in two weeks’ time, US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

Kim Myong-gil’s comments did “not reflect the content or the spirit” of the “good discussions” that took place over eight-and-a-half hours, she said.

The US delegation “previewed a number of new initiatives that would allow us to make progress in each of the four pillars” of a joint statement issued after Trump and Kim Jong-un’s first summit in Singapore, Ortagus said in a statement.

Kim Myong-gil said the North proposed a suspension of talks until December.

The talks were held at the Villa Elfvik Strand facility in Lidingo, an island in the Stockholm archipelago located northeast of the capital, Swedish news agency TT said.

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