Pyongyang said on Sunday that it had no desire to engage in “sickening negotiations” with the United States anymore, rejecting Washington’s suggestion that negotiators from both countries meet again in Stockholm in two weeks, The New York Times reports.
In a statement issued a day after bilateral talks broke down in Stockholm on Saturday, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said it would not meet with American negotiators again until after Washington took “a substantial step” to “complete and irreversible withdrawal of hostile policy.”
The ministry suggested that the Trump administration was more interested in forcing a deal on North Korea and claiming a major diplomatic achievement to help the President’s re-election bid than in satisfying the North’s demands.
“The U.S. has actually not made any preparations for the negotiations but sought to meet its political goal of abusing the D.P.R.K.-U.S. dialogue for its domestic political” interests, said the ministry’s statement, which was carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. D.P.R.K. is the abbreviation of the North’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Shortly after the talks broke down, Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman, said the United States had accepted the invitation of the Swedish government for American and North Korean negotiators to return to Stockholm to meet again in two weeks. On Sunday, North Korea called that idea “ungrounded.”
Negotiators from the United States and North Korea had met to resume denuclearization talks that had stalled since the collapse of the second summit meeting between Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February. That meeting foundered on disagreements about how fast and how thoroughly the North should dismantle its nuclear program and how soon the United States would ease its sanctions.
Kim Myong-gil, the North’s chief negotiator, told reporters after meeting with his United States counterpart, Stephen E. Biegun, that the talks in Stockholm had collapsed because the American side came “empty-handed,” with no new proposals, the Times adds.
Trump has claimed that he can achieve what his predecessors, including former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, had tried but failed to achieve: the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and their production facilities.