NKorea official: Kim rethinking US talks, launch moratorium

NKorea official: Kim rethinking US talks, launch moratorium

Pyongyang, Mar 15 (AP) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon make a decision on whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain the country’s moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said, noting the US threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, addressing an urgent meeting Friday of diplomats and foreign media in Pyongyang, including The Associated Press, said the North was deeply disappointed by the failure of the two sides to reach any agreements at the Hanoi summit between Kim and President Donald Trump.

She said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests and changes its “political calculation.”

Choe, who attended the Feb. 27-28 talks in Hanoi, said Kim was puzzled by what she called the “eccentric” negotiation position of the US.

She suggested that while Trump was more willing to talk, the U.S. position was hardened by the uncompromising demands of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

“Personal relations between the two supreme leaders are still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful,” she added.

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.

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