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(2nd LD) N. Korean official says Pyongyang not interested in talks 'that bring nothing'

North Korea 19:51 November 18, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS based on English version of Kim's statement published by KCNA)
By Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is no longer interested in holding another summit with the United States that will "bring nothing," a former chief nuclear envoy of the communist nation said Monday, urging Washington to drop its "hostile policy" against Pyongyang.

Kim Kye-gwan, currently an adviser to the North Korean foreign ministry, made the remarks in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, saying that he understood U.S. President Donald Trump's recent tweet on leader Kim Jong-un to be a suggestion for another summit.

On Sunday, Trump urged the North's leader to "act quickly" and reach a deal with him on dismantling the regime's nuclear weapons program, adding, "See you soon!" at the end of his tweet.

The adviser said that Trump and leader Kim met three times since June last year, but little improvement has been made in relations between the two countries. He also accused the U.S. of making it look like as if there is progress in the Korean Peninsula issue in an attempt to buy time.

"We are no longer interested in such talks that bring nothing to us," he said in the statement. "As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the U.S. president with something he can boast of, but get compensation for the successes that President Trump is proud of as his administrative achievements."

The U.S. should drop its "hostile policy" toward the North if it truly wants to hold on to dialogue with Pyongyang, Kim added.

"If the U.S. truly wants to keep on dialogue with the DPRK, it had better make a bold decision to drop its hostile policy towards the DPRK."

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

Trump's latest tweet came as denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since the two leaders' second summit in February ended without a deal.

The two countries held their last working-level talks in Stockholm in early October, but the meeting ended without much progress, with Pyongyang accusing Washington of failing to come up with a new proposal.

The North has given the U.S. until the end of the year to put forward a new proposal that could break the deadlock in their nuclear talks, saying that otherwise, it would be compelled to give up on negotiations and choose to take a "new way."

In an effort to avoid provoking Pyongyang, the U.S. and the South announced Sunday the postponement of joint air exercises that had been set for later this month. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper urged the North to reciprocate the goodwill by returning to nuclear talks.

In this file photo, taken on June 30, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump (L) talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after crossing the Military Demarcation Line onto the North's side at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two Koreas. Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to step onto North Korean soil. (Yonhap)

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