North Korea reiterated on Tuesday that it has no intention to hold talks with the US, just hours before Washington’s top nuclear envoy is set to arrive in Seoul to discuss how to break the impasse in nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang.
Kwon Jong-gun, the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s Director-General handling US affairs, made the remark in a statement, saying there were still people talking about brokering a meeting between Washington and the Pyongyang even after First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made clear that there would be no talks, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“Explicitly speaking once again, we have no intention to sit face to face with US,” Kwon said in a statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
On July 4, Choe had said that Pyongyang felt no need to sit down with the US while accusing Washington of taking advantage of dialogue between the two countries as “a tool for grappling its political crisis”.
Kwon’s statement came as US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who doubles as Washington’s point man on the North, is set to arrive in Seoul later on Tuesday amid speculation that he could seek to kick-start stalled nuclear negotiations with North Korea, said the Yonhap News Agency report.
The speculation of another summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has gained traction since South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently said he would push for such a meeting to happen before the presidential election in America later this year.
Trump and Kim have met three times since June 2018 to reach a deal on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, but little progress has been made due to the gap over the scope of Pyongyang’s denuclearization and sanctions relief by Washington.