Pyongyang: No Dialogue with Washington Before Stopping Military Activities
North Korea said on Thursday it was “not interested” in dialogue with the United States unless it ceased its “growing hostile military activities”, a day after a US envoy from Seoul said his country was ready to resume bilateral negotiations with Pyongyang.
The US special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Pigeon, announced Wednesday from Seoul that the United States “ready” to resume bilateral talks stalled for months with North Korea.
Talks stalled after a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed in Hanoi in February.
Washington and Pyongyang were unable to reach an understanding on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament in return for lifting economic sanctions.
“We are ready to start the discussions, we just received news from our North Korean counterparts,” Pigeon said on Wednesday.
But a spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday dashed hopes for a resumption of dialogue, considering Washington’s recent test of a medium-range cruise missile and its intention to deploy F-35 fighter jets in the region as “dangerous” steps that could “lead to a new Cold War.” .
The spokesman said in a statement published by the official North Korean news agency that the steps “force us to think in a realistic way to focus our attention more on strengthening physical deterrence.”
He added: “We remain on our position that all issues are resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiation.”
However, the spokesman stressed that “dialogue with military threats does not concern us.”
North Korea condemns the annual joint military exercises between Washington and Seoul, and considers it a preparation for a future invasion of its territory.
About 30,000 US troops are deployed in South Korea.
US President Donald Trump said on Aug. 10 that Kim Jong-un told him in a letter of his intention to resume bilateral negotiations immediately after the military exercises between Seoul and Washington, which ended on Tuesday.