North Korea threatens to end nuclear talks with US, resume testing

North Korea threatens to end nuclear talks with US, resume testing

North Korea threatens to end nuclear talks with US, resume testing

Speaking at a conference on Monday, U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun said the administration was clear and unified in its position. Pyongyang announced that Kim Jong-un will shortly decide whether he intends to continue his moratorium on missile and nuclear tests after the failure of the Hanoi summit to make progress toward resolving the standoff on the Korean peninsula.

He downplayed recent satellite images that analysts say show activity at North Korean missile sites and urged against making any "snap judgment" on the significance of the images that appear to show that North Korea has begun rebuilding a portion of the Sohae facility previously used to test long-range missile engines.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton "created the atmosphere of hostility and mistrust and, therefore, obstructed the constructive effort for negotiations between the supreme leaders of North Korea and the United States", TASS quoted Choe as saying.

Mr Pompeo said Kim Jong-un had promised US President Donald Trump in Vietnam that testing would not resume.

Kim would soon make an official statement on the actions his country would take, Choe told reporters and foreign diplomats in Pyongyang.

Trump has pointed to North Korea's freeze in nuclear and missile testing since 2017 as a positive outcome from almost a year of diplomatic engagement with North Korea.

Speaking at an urgent meeting with diplomats and foreign media in Pyongyang, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui cited the US attitude in the recent Hanoi summit.

The meeting in Vietnam ended when Trump walked away from North Korea's offer to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility in exchange for relief from economic sanctions targeting their industries like coal, oil, and fishing and totaling billions of dollars.

In response, Seoul's presidential office said that the South Korean government will continue the efforts to faciliate dialogue between U.S. and North Korea under any circumstances. "I have every expectation that we'll be able to continue to do that", Pompeo said Friday. "We are hopeful we can continue to have conversations and negotiations".

She added that after the summit, Kim Jong-un questioned whether it makes sense to hold a new one. He said he had spoken to his South Korean counterpart but wanted to consult with other USA officials before responding further. "That's Chairman Kim's word".

John Delury, an expert on East Asia at Seoul's Yonsei University, said Choe's comments could be seen as a response to Bolton's threat to ramp up sanctions and did not mean the door to dialogue was closed.

Bolton, who has argued for a tough approach to North Korea, said last week that Trump was open to more talks but also warned of tougher sanctions if the North did not denuclearize.

South Korea's Unification Ministry revealed on Friday that a weekly meeting with North Korean representatives at the Kaesong joint industrial complex has been canceled by Pyongyang's request for the past three weeks.

Joel Wit of the 38 North think tank said North Korea was likely toughening its negotiating position after the collapse of the Hanoi summit.

"What is clear is that the USA has thrown away a golden opportunity this time", she said.

In Washington this week, USA special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said the United States expected to be able to continue its close engagement, though he offered no specifics on when new talks might be held.

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