North Korea says it’s willing to resume nuke talks with US
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Monday it is willing to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States in late September but that Washington must come to the negotiating table with acceptable new proposals.
If the proposals don’t satisfy North Korea, dealings between the two countries may come to an end, First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said.
Choe’s statement was apparently aimed at pressuring the United States to make concessions when the North Korea-U.S. talks restart.
North Korea is widely believed to want the United States to provide it with security guarantees and extensive relief from U.S.-led sanctions in return for limited denuclearization steps.
U.S. President Donald Trump called North Korea’s announcement “interesting.”
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said.
Talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament fell apart in February when Trump rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s demand for sweeping sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament at their second summit in Vietnam.
It was an embarrassment for Kim, who made a dayslong train trip to the Vietnamese capital to obtain the sanctions relief he needs to revitalize his country’s troubled economy.
In recent months, North Korea has carried out a slew of missile and rocket tests to protest joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea that North Korea views as an invasion rehearsal. Trump has downplayed the tests, saying the U.S. never restricted short-range tests.
The U.N. children’s agency laid out 3,758 school backpacks in rows reminiscent of a graveyard on the lawn of U.N. headquarters in New York — one for each child who died in a conflict zone last year. The UNICEF installation, which went up Sunday, ends Thursday.