North Korea is willing to go to the negotiation table with the United States again for denuclearization talks in late September, with the condition that Washington’s proposals are acceptable, or the North Korea-United States dealings “may come to an end.”
First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on Sep. 9, that North Korea is “willing to comprehensively talk about all the issues we have discussed until now with the United States at an agreed time and place in late September,” reported the North Korea state media.
It is widely known that North Korea is seeking to have the United States make concessions and provide relief from the sanctions it imposed in exchange for limited denuclearization procedures.
“I want to believe that the United States will come up with an alternative based on a calculation method that serves the interests of both sides and is acceptable to us,” Choe said.
Choe said she hopes the United States will bring “a proposal geared to the interests of the DPRK and the U.S. and based on decision methods acceptable to us.” DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.
She said that “If the U.S. side fingers again the worn-out scenario which has nothing to do with new decision methods at the DPRK-U.S. working negotiation to be held with so much effort, the DPRK-U.S. dealings may come to an end.”
DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States “was hopeful that in the coming days or perhaps weeks we’ll be back at the negotiating table with them” to negotiate about denuclearization, reported Fox.
On Aug. 27, Pompeo said in an interview with ABC WRT “I hope that Chairman Kim will work with—put his team in the field to work with my team and deliver a good, solid outcome for the American people,” according to NKNews.
Last month, Pompeo called North Korea’s behavior “rogue,” and Choe responded, saying Pompeo’s words were “thoughtless,” but tensions seem to have eased this month.
Talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament were stalled in February when President Donald Trump rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s demand for sweeping sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament at their second summit in Vietnam.
It was a huge embarrassment for the young North Korean leader, who made a dayslong train trip to the Vietnamese capital to obtain the sanctions relief he needs to revitalize his country’s troubled economy.
In April, Kim said he was open to another summit with Trump, but set the end of the year as a deadline for the United States to offer improved terms for an agreement to revive the nuclear diplomacy. Kim and Trump met again at the Korean border in late June and agreed to restart diplomacy, but there have no public meetings between the sides since then.
In recent months, North Korea has carried out a slew of missile and rocket tests to protest joint military drills between the United States and South Korea. Some experts said the North Korean weapons tests were also a demonstration of its expanding weapons arsenal aimed at boosting its leverage ahead of new talks with the United States.
Most of the North Korean weapons tested in July and August have been short-range. This suggests that North Korea hasn’t wanted to lift its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, which would certainly derail negotiations with Washington.
Trump has downplayed the latest North Korean weapons tests, saying the United States never restricted short-range tests.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.