Seoul, 4 July 2020 (dpa/MIA) – North Korea has quashed fresh hopes that negotiations with the United States to halt its nuclear weapons programme will resume any time soon.
The first vice-minister of foreign affairs, Choe Son Hui, said on Saturday that Washington was only using the dialogue with Pyongyang “as nothing more than a tool for grappling its [own] political crisis.”
“We do not feel any need to sit face to face with the US,” the vice-minister was cited in North Korean state media as saying.
Choe was responding to speculation that a new summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un would take place before the US election in November.
South Korean President Moon Jae In was again suggested as an intermediary. During a video summit with the EU on Tuesday, according to officials from his office he said that he wanted to do his best to bring about a North Korea-US summit before the US election.
In the US, former national security advisor John Bolton said that Trump would meet Kim shortly before the election if he believes it will help his re-election bid.
“There are even some dreamers hoping to leverage our denuclearization measures for [a] conditional lift[ing] of sanctions, while raising hope for [an] ‘October surprise,'” Choe said.
“The US is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us.”
North Korea is subject to harsh international sanctions because of its nuclear programme.
Nuclear talks with the US have not resumed since a failed Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam in February 2019. North Korea has said repeatedly since then that it is not interested in fresh talks until Washington comes up with new proposals.