North Korea rebuffs US talk offer, suspects it’s a ‘trick’
Robie de Guzman • November 15, 2019 • 311
North Korean nuclear negotiator Kim Myong-gil said Washington recently proposed holding a new working meeting in December but rebuffed it, saying that the message through a third party “amplifies doubts” and was possibly a “trick.”
“I cannot understand why he (United States Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Beigun) spreads the so-called idea of DPRK-US relations through the third party, not thinking of candidly making direct contact with me, his dialog partner,” Kim said in a statement run by North Korean state news agency KCNA on Friday.
“His behavior only amplifies doubts about the US,” he added.
Kim added that if Washington has a solution to the stalled talks, then it can be presented directly to Pyongyang, but that he felt Washington did not have a “satisfactory answer” and the proposal for a meeting was “a trick to earn time.”
“Explicitly speaking once again, I am not interested in such a meeting,” he said.
However, he said that if Washington was serious, Pyongyang was “ready to meet with the US at any place and any time,” but if “the US still seeks a sinister aim of appeasing us in a bid to pass the time limit — the end of this year — with ease as it did during the DPRK-US working-level negotiations in Sweden early in October, we have no willingness to have such negotiations.”
The Stockholm meeting in early October was held to try to break the stalled talks since the failed February summit in Hanoi, where Washington considered Pyonyang’s offer regarding the dismantling of its nuclear assets insufficient and refused to lift the sanctions on the regime.
In Sweden, the meeting closed with Pyongyang accusing Washington of not offering anything new and insisted that the White House has until the end of the year to modify its negotiating strategy.
Experts believe that if there were no breakthroughs, North Korea could choose from New Year to conduct new weapons tests, especially of intermediate-range missiles, as a strategy to pressure Washington and its allies in the region. – EFE-EPA
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a meeting of the politburo of the ruling Workers Party the North had stopped the novel coronavirus from making inroads in the country, state news agency KCNA said on Friday (July 3).
“We have thoroughly prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable anti-epidemic situation despite the worldwide health crisis, which is a shining success achieved,” Kim Jong Un said in a statement carried by KCNA.
He warned against self-complacency or relaxation in the anti-epidemic effort and urged North Koreans to maintain “maximum alert,” KCNA said in a statement.
While the reclusive country has not confirmed any infections, its public health ministry has reported all 922 people checked so far have tested negative. Hundreds of people, mostly cargo handlers at seaports and land borders, are regularly quarantined for monitoring.
A politburo meeting on Thursday (July 2) also touched on the construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital, underway in the capital. Kim expressed satisfaction with the project and thanked the builders for making headway under unfavorable conditions. (Reuters)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has presided over a meeting of the ruling party’s Central Military Commission and decided to suspend military action plans against South Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday (June 24).
The video conference meeting on Tuesday (June 23) also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country,” KCNA reported.
The committee members “took stock of the prevailing situation” before deciding to suspend the military plans, the report said, without elaborating.
Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the South to fly propaganda leaflets over to the North. (Reuters)
North Korea said on Wednesday (June 17) it had rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys to ease escalating bilateral tensions, and vowed to redeploy troops to demilitarized border units in the latest step towards nullifying inter-Korean peace accords.
The announcements made by state media agency KCNA came one day after North Korea blew up a joint liaison office set up in a border town as part of a 2018 agreement by the two countries’ leaders, as tensions flare over propaganda leaflets sent by defectors into the reclusive state.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Monday (June 15) offered to send his national security adviser Chung Eui-yong and spy chief Suh Hoon as special envoys. But Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a senior ruling party official, “flatly rejected the tactless and sinister proposal,” KCNA said.
In a separate KCNA dispatch on Wednesday, a spokesman for the General Staff of the (North) Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it would dispatch troops to Mount Kumgang and Kaesong near the border, where the two Koreas had carried out joint economic projects in the past. (Reuters)
(Production: Dogyun Kim, Chaeyoun Won, Minwoo Park)
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