North Korea Rebuffs US Offer of December Talks, Urges Halt in Military Drills.
North Korea said on Thursday it had turned down a US offer for fresh talks, saying it was not interested in more talks merely aimed at “appeasing us” ahead of a year-end deadline Pyongyang has set for Washington to show more flexibility in negotiations.
Kim Myong Gil, North Korea’s nuclear negotiator, said in a statement carried by the country’s official KCNA news agency that Stephen Biegun, his U.S. counterpart who jointly led last month’s failed denuclearization talks in Stockholm, had offered through a third country to meet again.
Kim and Biegun met last month in the Swedish capital for the first time since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed in June to re-open negotiations that have been stalled since a failed summit in Vietnam in February. But the Stockholm meeting fell apart.
“If the negotiated solution of issues is possible, we are ready to meet with the US at any place and any time,” Kim Myong Gil said. However, he said Biegun’s proposal had a “sinister aim of appeasing us in a bid to pass with ease” Pyongyang’s year-end deadline. “We have no willingness to have such negotiations.”
North Korea has been seeking a lifting of punishing sanctions, but US has insisted Kim Jong Un must dismantle his nuclear weapons program first.
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