‘Not ready’ NK de­layed talks with US: Ha­ley

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE - UNITED NA­TIONS (Reuters)

— 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.

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