North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is close to deciding whether to halt denuclearisation talks with the US after President Donald Trump walked away from negotiations in February, according to a North Korean diplomat.
Last month's summit in Vietnam failed after the two nations failed to reach an agreement, with Trump stating that the North Koreans had demanded too much sanctions relief in exchange for only a partial disarmament and Kim angry that Washington rejected its promises to reduce its nuclear program by dismantling its main Yongbyon nuclear complex.
Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told the AP: “I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger. We have neither the intention to compromise with the US in any form nor much less the desire or plan to conduct this kind of negotiation.”
Choe also disputed claims from Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that North Korea had requested complete sanctions relief, stating that the lifting of just five sanctions had been requested and claiming that the US had “thrown away a golden opportunity”.
This statement is particularly ominous given that Kim warned in his New Year address that his nation would embark on a “new path” in nuclear talks if the US didn't relax economic sanctions and warned Washington that his patience was running out.
It was just the second meeting between heads of state from the two nations after Trump and Kim met in Singapore last year, where the Hermit Kingdom appeared to commit to abandoning its nuclear aspirations.
US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said this week that diplomacy between the two parties was “still very much alive” but no clear indication of a third meeting has been offered by either side.
For his part, Trump stressed after the second meeting that he still saw a “good outcome” to negotiations.