North Korea says it’s will­ing to re­sume nuke talks with US

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

CRAIG RUT­TLE/AP

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.

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