North Korea says there is no plan for US talks, as Bolton hints at ‘October surprise’ News

North Korea has repeated that it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear negotiations with the United States unless Washington rules out what it describes as “hostile” policies towards Pyongyang.

Saturday’s statement by North Korea’s first deputy foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, came after former US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton told reporters on Thursday that Trump could seek another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “surprise October” ahead of the United States presidential election.

“Is it possible to have a dialogue or have any dealings with the United States that persist in the hostile policy towards the DPRK without taking into account the agreements already made at the last summit?” Choe said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We do not feel the need to sit face to face with the United States, as they do not consider the dialogue between the DPRK and the United States to be merely a tool to deal with their political crisis,” he said.

Kim and Trump have met three times since they embarked on their high-risk nuclear diplomacy in 2018, but negotiations have faltered since their second summit in February last year in Vietnam.

At that summit, the United States rejected North Korea’s demands for significant relief from sanctions in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capacity.

Kim entered 2020 declaring to strengthen his nuclear deterrence in the face of US sanctions and pressure “like a gangster.”

Choe’s statement followed a series of similar statements by the North that he would no longer give Trump high-profile meetings that he could brag about as his foreign policy achievements unless he gets something substantial in return.

‘Strategic calendar’

Choe said North Korea has already established a “detailed strategic timeline” to manage what he described as threats from the United States.

“The United States is wrong if it believes that things like the negotiations would still work for us,” he said.

In recent months, the North has also been increasing pressure against South Korea, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office on its territory and threatening to abandon a bilateral military agreement aimed at reducing tensions.

Months of frustration follow over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy U.S.-led sanctions and restart joint economic projects that would bring the bankrupt economy of the North to life.

North Korean state media said on Friday that Kim, while overseeing a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party politburo on Thursday, discussed “important issues related to foreign affairs,” but did not specify what they were.

During a video conference with European leaders on Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had pushed hard to help establish the now-stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, also expressed hope that Trump and Kim would meet again sooner. of the American elections. .

US Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will visit South Korea next week to discuss stalled talks with North Korea.