North Korea not interested in summits with US that offer nothing: Adviser

An undated photo released by the Korean Central News Agency showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with members of the Air and Anti-Aircraft Force of the Korean People's Army. PHOTO:
An undated photo released by the Korean Central News Agency showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with members of the Air and Anti-Aircraft Force of the Korean People's Army. PHOTO:AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SEOUL • North Korea is "no longer interested" in summits with the US unless Washington offers new concessions in their nuclear negotiations, Pyongyang said yesterday, hours after US President Donald Trump hinted at the prospect.

"You should act quickly, get the deal done," Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "See you soon!"

Mr Kim and Mr Trump have met three times since June last year, but talks have been gridlocked since their Hanoi summit in February broke up in disagreement over sanctions relief, while last month's working-level talks rapidly broke down in Sweden.

Pyongyang has set Washington a deadline of the end of the year to come forward with a fresh offer and Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan said the United States was stalling while "pretending it has made progress".

He interpreted Mr Trump's tweet as a signal for a new summit, he said in a statement carried by the state's Korean Central News Agency, but declared: "We are no longer interested in such talks that bring nothing to us."

"We will no longer gift the US president with something he can boast of," the adviser went on, adding that the North should be compensated for the "successes" that Mr Trump has touted as his own achievements.

The implied criticism of Mr Trump by name is a departure for Pyongyang, which has long kept its frustration directed to other administration officials.

Mr Kim the adviser had declared last month: "Contrary to the political judgment and intention of President Trump, Washington political circles and DPRK policymakers of the US administration are hostile to the DPRK for no reason."

He was using the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1196080086686011398

In September, he was full of praise for the US leader, saying Mr Trump was "different from his predecessors" and he was placing his hopes in "President Trump's wise option and bold decision".

But as the North's deadline approaches, it has issued a series of increasingly assertive statements, while also carrying out a number of weapon launches.

Washington should withdraw its "hostile policy" if it wants dialogue to continue, Mr Kim said yesterday, without elaborating further.

Mr Trump's tweet came after Washington and Seoul agreed to postpone annual joint aerial exercises to create space for diplomacy with Pyongyang, which condemns such drills as preparations for invasion.

The North's Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui yesterday travelled to Russia, on a trip that analysts said could be to discuss strategy for the US negotiations.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2019, with the headline 'N. Korea not interested in summits with US that offer nothing: Adviser'. Subscribe