October 07, 2019 09:47
Fresh working-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea after the failed Hanoi summit seven months ago ended without agreement, dashing hopes for a third U.S.-North Korea summit later this year.
After the eight-and-a-half-hour talks in Stockholm on Saturday fizzled, North Korea threatened to resume nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and said it has no desire to engage in "sickening negotiations" with the U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump's hopes of at least keeping contacts with North Korea ticking over till the presidential election have dimmed, as have his South Korean counterpart Moon jae-in's hopes of persuading North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to visit Busan in November.
Earlier, flush with hopes of a third U.S.-North Korea summit, Trump said, "I think I'll get a Nobel prize for a lot of things if they gave it out fairly" and claimed a meeting with Kim "could happen soon."
But instead the North Koreans walked out of the working -level talks and threatened to end their moratorium on nuclear weapons and missile tests. "It is entirely up to the U.S. whether we continue to halt or revive nuclear tests and ICBM launches," a North Korean official said.
The U.S. has now voiced hopes to resume the talks "within two weeks," but a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "There is no chance [that the U.S.] will bring an offer that matches our expectations within two weeks."
Cheong Wa Dae had wanted to invite Kim to the special South Korea-ASEAN summit in Busan next month, but now that seems unlikely.
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