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Vice North Korean Foreign Minister said that Pyongyang was willing to have “comprehensive discussions” with the U.S. under the condition of a new approach.
The North Korean government announced Monday that it is willing to begin nuclear arms talks again with the United States, but that a deal could only be reached if Washington changes its negotiation approach.
Vice North Korean Foreign Minister, Choe Son Hui, said in a statement that Pyongyang was willing to have “comprehensive discussions” with the U.S. for the end of this month.
Choe stressed that Washington needed to present a fresh approach or the talks could fall apart again.
“I want to believe that the U.S. will come forward with an alternative ... that serves both sides’ interests and is acceptable to us,” Choe said.
“If the U.S. toys with an old scenario that has nothing to do with the new method at working talks ... after the previous difficulties, a deal between the two sides may come to an end,” she added.
“I just saw it as I’m coming out here, that they would like to meet. We’ll see what happens. I always say having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about the proposal.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he awaited a return to denuclearization talks in the coming days or weeks and reiterated the goal was a complete denuclearization of the East Asian country.
The negotiations had broken down in February over U.S. demands that North Korea to give up all of its nuclear weapons. Washington's rhetoric and negotiation skills around the deal were so distasteful to Pyongyang, in April, North Korea demanded a replacement of Pompeo with a “more mature” person in the U.S. negotiating team. Kim set a year-end deadline for the U.S. to show more flexibility in talks.
The U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, who led talks with the Asian country before the Hanoi meeting said Washington’s aim was to transform relations with Pyongyang and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, but stressed that this would require the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Embarking on an “intensive set of negotiations” is necessary, Biegun said, adding that “the diplomatic opening is fragile” and expressing concern about North Korea’s continuing weapons development.