SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea does not feel the need to have talks with the United States, which would be nothing more than “a political tool” for Washington, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Saturday, ahead of a US envoy’s visit to South Korea.
Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said negotiations would not work out between Washington and Pyongyang and there will be no change in North Korea’s policy.
“We do not feel any need to sit face to face with the US, as it does not consider the DPRK-US dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis,” Choe said in a statement carried by state-run KCNA news agency.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s formal name.
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun is due to visit South Korea next week to discuss stalled talks with North Korea.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should meet again before the US elections in November, which would help resume the stalled nuclear negotiations.
Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York on Thursday that the president might seek another summit with Kim as an “October Surprise” ahead of the election.
Trump and Kim Jong Un met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore.
They met again in Vietnam in 2019, but the talks fell apart when Trump said Kim had failed to offer enough nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
At their third meeting, in June 2019 at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, the two agreed to restart negotiations. Working-level talks between the two sides in Sweden in October were broken off.
Reporting By Jane Chung in Seoul; Editing by William Mallard
Image: FILE PHOTO: Hyon Song Wol, head of the North Korean Samjiyon art troupe takes a photo of Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son-Hui (C) ahead of the welcoming ceremony of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (not pictured) at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam March 1, 2019. Luong Thai Linh/Pool via REUTERS