North Korea said on Sunday that it would not meet again with the United States unless it abandons its “hostile policy” against the North, as the two countries offered different takes on their weekend nuclear negotiations in Sweden.
After their first talks in more than seven months in Stockholm on Saturday, the chief North Korean nuclear negotiator said the talks 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 in two weeks.
On Sunday, the North’s foreign ministry issued a statement accusing the US of trying to mislead public opinion 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.
It added that the US policy “threatens the security” of North Korea and “hampers the rights to existence and development of its people”.