Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

North Korea rethinking nuclear talks, missile ban

North Korea rethinking nuclear talks, missile ban

Image copyright EPA Image caption North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, seen here during the Hanoi summit What did North Korea say?

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said the United States missed a golden opportunity in Hanoi, and warned that Kim may rethink his moratorium on missile launches, the Associated Press reported.

While Choe praised Kim and Trump's relationship and said their "chemistry is mysteriously wonderful", she went after Pompeo and Bolton by name for creating an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust with their uncompromising demands.

The summit ended abruptly without a joint agreement after Kim insisted that all U.S. sanctions on his country be lifted.

South Korea, which has an ambitious agenda of engagement with North Korea which is dependent on Pyongyang and Washington resolving at least some of their differences, said it was too early to tell what Choe's comments might mean.

"At this time, they (North Korea) are willing to reform and become more open, which requires sanctions being lifted, but they also need to show their willingness to denuclearize and are urging the US president to take action", he said.

The U.S. line appears to have hardened since then, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Seoul, South Korea.

The Asian Forum Japan's Senior Fellow, Jonathan Berkshire Miller, said that following the "humiliating" summit in Hanoi, Kim used his address to reiterate to the worldwide community that North Korea wasn't looking to have all sanctions dating back to 2009 removed, but the sanctions that have been the most impactful.

The main obstacle to agreement between the two sides was reportedly the question of sanctions: Washington says it wants all weapons of mass destruction eliminated by North Korea before economic sanctions are dropped, while Pyongyang envisages lifting the main sanctions in return for an only partial dismantling of its nuclear infrastructure.

Stephen Beigun, the USA special representative for North Korea, said he expects talks and close engagement to continue.

"In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the President and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing" or missile testing, Pompeo said. And following that, we continued to have very professional conversations, where we tried our best to work together and represent our respective sides.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, meanwhile, said earlier this week that Trump left the Vietnam summit without striking a deal with Kim because he didn't feel that what was on the table was enough.

"It's the administration's desire that we continue to have conversations around this", he said. "So that's Chairman Kim's word". "I have every expectation we will be able to continue to do that".

"I don't think that really falls in the line of the way that the North Koreans approach things".

In addition, Moon said, "The role of South Korea in this situation, or the role of President Moon [Jae-in] is not a mediator but facilitator, because a mediator should be an interest-free party, but South Korea is also involved in this problem".

In Washington this week, U.S. 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. "In any situation, our government will endeavour for the restart of North Korea-U.S. negotiations", South Korea's presidential Blue House said in a statement. "We need a total solution", he emphasized during a forum in Washington D.C., effectively passing the ball to North Korea.

Any launch would send the stuttering talks on denuclearisation into disarray, after the Hanoi summit broke up without agreement.

At the State Department on Monday, Pompeo said that the North Korean offer in Hanoi "simply didn't rise to the level that was acceptable given what they were asking for in exchange".

Like this: