North Korea and the United States walked away on Saturday with opposing assessments of nuclear talks in Sweden, which Pyongyang said broke down but Washington called good discussions.
North Korea’s top nuclear envoy said the talks, after months of stalemate, had broken down, blaming Washington for bringing nothing to the negotiation table .
The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectations and finally broke up without any outcome. (It) is totally due to the fact that the US would not give up their old attitude, Kim Myong Gil said.
The talks with Stephen Biegun, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy, were a much-anticipated resumption of dialogue after a Hanoi meeting in late February between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to yield a breakthrough.
The US raised expectations and offered suggestions like flexible approach, new methods and creative solutions but they have disappointed us greatly, and dampened our enthusiasm for negotiations by bringing nothing to the negotiation table, Kim Myong Gil told reporters in Stockholm.
These talks were held at a crucial moment when the situation on the Korean peninsula stands at the crossroads of dialogue or confrontation. Therefore we have come to the negotiating table with a responsibility that we should ensure a result to promote the development of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), he added.
The United States accepted host Sweden’s invitation to resume talks in two weeks’ time, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in WASHINGTON.
The discussions followed months of stalemate after a February meeting between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, and came after Pyongyang’s defiant test of a sea-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday.
Kim Myong Gil said that North Korea stood at the crossroads of dialogue or confrontation .
Ortagus said in a statement that the early comments from the DPRK delegation do not reflect the content or the spirit of today’s eight-and-a-half-hour discussion.
The US brought creative ideas and had good discussions with its DPRK counterparts, she said.
Ortagus said the United States previewed a number of new initiatives that would allow progress on the statement reached in Singapore at the first Trump-Kim summit last year.
The two leaders adopted a vaguely worded document on the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula but little progress has since been made on dismantling the North’s nuclear programme.
The United States and the DPRK will not overcome a legacy of 70 years of war and hostility on the Korean Peninsula through the course of a single Saturday, Ortagus said.
These are weighty issues, and they require a strong commitment by both countries. The United States has that commitment.
The two sides met at a heavily guarded venue on an island off Stockholm, several hundred metres from the North Korean embassy.
As the meeting got underway, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted: I am encouraged that US and (North Korean) working level delegations are currently in Sweden to hold talks .
Dialogue, she said, was needed to reach denuclearisation and peaceful solution .
Similar-level talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament were held in Stockholm in March 2018 and then in January this year.
Since the US-North Korea talks began, Russia and China have been calling for the UN to start lifting sanctions so as to create momentum towards the North’s denuclearisation. But the United States has refused.
Source: Nam News Network (NNN)