Home >News >world >No talks until US ends hostile policy: North Korea

North Korea said Sunday that it won’t meet with the United States for more “sickening negotiations" unless it abandons its “hostile policy" against the North, as the two countries offered different takes on their weekend nuclear talks in Sweden.

After their first talks in more than seven months in Stockholm on Saturday, the chief North Korean nuclear negotiator said the discussions broke down “entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude" and came to the negotiating table with an “empty hand." But the US said the two sides had “good discussions" that it intends to build on with more talks in two weeks.

On Sunday night, North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a statement accusing the US of trying to mislead the public and “spreading a completely ungrounded story that both sides are open to meet" again.

The statement said the Stockholm talks “made us think they have no political will to improve (North Korea)-US relations and may be abusing the bilateral relations for their own partisan interests" at home.

It said North Korea isn’t willing to hold “such sickening negotiations" as those in Stockholm until the US takes “a substantial step to make complete and irreversible withdrawal of the hostile policy toward" the North.

The statement didn’t say which US policies it was referring to. But North Korea has previously accused the US of plotting an invasion of the country and maintained that US-led sanctions against the North are stifling its economy.

Kim Myong Gil, the main North Korean negotiator at the Stockholm talks, said that since the first summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June 2018, the US has been threatening his country with fresh unilateral sanctions and military exercises with South Korea.

When it entered talks with the US last year, North Korea said it was willing to deal away its advancing nuclear arsenal in return for outside political and economic benefits. But many foreign experts doubt whether North Korea would completely abandon a nuclear program that it has built after decades of struggle.

Before the Singapore talks, North Korea had long said it would denuclearize only if the US withdraws its 28,500 troops from South Korea, ends military drills with the South and takes other steps to guarantee the North’s security.

Saturday’s talks were the first between the sides since the second Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam in February collapsed.

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