North Korea Blames Pompeo, Bolton For 'Mistrust' That Foiled Negotiations

15 March, 2019, 20:21 | Author: Myra Gill
  • President Donald Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Thursday Feb. 28 2019 in Hanoi

Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui had taken pains to tell reporters that President Donald Trump was not the problem, stressing that ties between him and leader Kim Jong Un were "still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful", according to the NY times.

"We have no intention to yield to the USA demands [made at the Hanoi summit] in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind", TASS quoted Choe as telling reporters in Pyongyang.

Kim is set to make an official announcement soon on his position on the denuclearization talks with the United States and the North's further actions, it added, citing Choe.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton on Friday denied that they derailed talks between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un two weeks ago in Vietnam after a fiery statement from North Korea accused the two men of creating a environment of hostility.

Earlier this week, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said, "Diplomacy is still very much alive".

"President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right".

DPRK's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui poses for a photo ahead of the welcome ceremony of DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, March 1, 2019.

"It's the administration's desire that we continue to have conversations around this", Pompeo said. 'I'm not sure why the US came out with this different description.

She said it was entirely up to Kim whether to continue the launch and test moratorium, and said she expects he will "clarify his position" within a short period of time. "I have every expectation that we'll be able to continue to do that", Pompeo said Friday.

They want to take the measure of Trump again, perhaps an indication that they really are confused over what happened in Hanoi. Pyongyang is aware that Donald Trump has boasted about his ability to get Mr Kim to stop firing missiles and testing nuclear missiles.


His comments follow a suggestion by North Korean-Vice Foreign Minister Choe Sun-hui that denuclearisation talks might end and testing could resume.

Choe's comments echoed the North's usual rhetoric at tense points in its dealings with Washington.

Trump has made much of his personal chemistry with Kim and has said he would be "very disappointed" in Kim if North Korea were to resume testing.

"They're putting down a marker, saying which way things are headed if nothing changes", Pollack, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, said.

After the two leaders failed to secure a deal in Hanoi, and with economic sanctions still in place, North Korea might be trying to hurry the United States president along and get him back to the table with a better deal.

In a statement, the South Korean presidential Blue House said, "It is not reliable to judge the current situation only by remarks of Choe Son Hui". "It is likely to gauge the US reaction in the days ahead before making a decision to launch a rocket", he said.

In response, Seoul's presidential office said that the South Korean government will continue the efforts to faciliate dialogue between USA and North Korea under any circumstances.

Choe said following the Hanoi talks Kim might lose his commitment to pursue a deal with the U.S. after it rejected a request to lift sanctions in return for Pyongyang destroying its main nuke site.

Kim Yong-hyun said the activity at Sohae may have been a ploy by North Korea to change the bargaining dynamics between Pyongyang and Washington.

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