‘Not ready’ NK delayed talks with US: Haley
— North Korea postponed talks with the United States on Thursday “because they weren’t ready,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said as she urged Pyongyang to implement a June deal between the two countries.
Speaking to reporters before and after a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting on North Korea sanctions, Haley said it is now North Korea’s turn to act. She also criticized Russia for trying to lift banking restrictions that are intended to curb the Asian nation’s nuclear program.
“There’s no time to stall or no time to delay or try and get past not going through with what was agreed in Singapore,” said Haley, who will step down at the end of the year.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been due to meet North Korean officials in New York on Thursday, but the State Department said on Wednesday it would be postponed to a later date. It gave no reason for the delay.
Describing the relationship between Washington and Pyongyang as “cordial,” Haley said she did not think there was a “major issue” and she believed the talks would be rescheduled.
The U.N. Security Council met to discuss sanctions on North Korea on Thursday at the request of Russia. Haley has accused Russia of cheating on U.N. sanctions on North Korea.
After the short meeting, she told reporters Russia is looking to lift banking restrictions, which she said they are not following appropriately.
“We’re concerned about the humanitarian situation in North Korea, but the truth always comes out,” she said. “So now we know what their agenda is, we know exactly why they’re trying to do it and we’re not going to let it happen.”
Russia’s envoy did not speak to reporters after exiting the meeting. The Russian U.N. mission issued a statement later saying North Korea faces “serious humanitarian problems” due to the U.N. sanctions resolutions and urged the Security Council to fix the problem.