Vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui criticised senior US officials, accusing them of taking a “gangster-like stand” - while reserving praise for the
Vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui criticised senior US officials, accusing them of taking a “gangster-like stand” – while reserving praise for the “wonderful chemistry” between Mr Trump and Kim. Talks between Mr Trump and Kim – the second time the two leaders have met – collapsed as a result the latter’s demands over international sanctions imposed in response to nuclear weapons programme, which it pursued for years in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. Russian news agency TASS quoted Choe as telling reporters in PyongYang: “We have no intention to yield to the US demands at the Hanoi summit in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind.
I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger
She claimed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton had “creating the atmosphere of hostility and mistrust and, therefore, obstructed the constructive effort for negotiations between the supreme leaders of North Korea and the United States”.
Kim is set to make an official announcement soon on his position on the denuclearisation talks with the United States and the North’s further actions, she said.
Choe accused said Washington had squandered a golden opportunity at the summit, warning Kim might rethink a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, the Associated Press news agency reported.
She added: “I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger.”
Kim Jong-Un could soon restart nuclear tests, his minister said
However, she added: “Personal relations between the two supreme leaders are still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful.”
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.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House said in a statement: “We cannot judge the current situation based solely on Vice Minister Choe Son Hui’s statements.
“We are watching the situation closely. In any situation, our government will endeavour for the restart of North Korea-US negotiations.”
Choe Son Hui speaks in Hanoi earlier this month
Choe’s comments echoed the North’s usual rhetoric at tense points in its dealings with Washington.
North Korea expert Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, said NorthKorea may be delivering an ultimatum.
He said: ”They’re putting down a marker, saying which way things are headed if nothing changes.”
Choe previously warned after the Hanoi talks Kim might lose his commitment to pursue a deal with the United States after seeing it reject a request to lift some sanctions in return for the North destroying its main known nuclear complex.
Choe Son Hui pointed the finger of blame at Mike Pompeo and John Bolton
In Washington this week, US 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.
He said: ”Diplomacy is still very much alive.”
Mr Bolton, who has argued for a tough approach to North Korea, said last week that Mr Trump was open to more talks but also warned of tougher sanctions if the North did not denuclearise.
In Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang urged patience and further dialogue between the two countries.
Donald Trump with Kim Jong-Un in Hanoi
He told an annual news conference on Friday: ”The peninsula problem can be said to be complicated and long-standing, and it cannot be solved overnight.”
Earlier on Friday, a spokeswoman for South Korea’s Ministry of Unification told a press briefing that the weekly inter-Korean meeting scheduled at a liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, had been cancelled after the North Koreans said they would not be sending senior officials.
The spokeswoman said the ministry had not confirmed why the North Korean officials decided not to attend.
The South Korean won fell to its weakest intraday level in four months soon after the report, whereas the stock market’s KOSPI was muted in its reaction.
South Korean and Japanese defence-related shares surged following the reports.