STOCKHOLM North Korea and the United States walked
away on Saturday with opposing assessments of nuclear talks in Sweden, which
Pyongyang said broke down but Washington called good discussions.
The United States accepted host Sweden's invitation to resume talks in two
weeks' time, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
The discussions followed months of stalemate after a February meeting
between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, and came
after Pyongyang's defiant test of a sea launched ballistic missile on
The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectations and finally broke
up without any outcome. (It) is totally due to the fact that the US would
not give up their old attitude, the nuclear armed North's leading
negotiator Kim Myong Gil told reporters in Stockholm.
The US raised expectations and offered suggestions like flexible approach,
new methods and creative solutions but they have disappointed us greatly, and
dampened our enthusiasm for negotiations by bringing nothing to the
negotiation table, Kim Myong Gil said.
He added that North Korea stood at the crossroads of dialogue or
Kim Myong Gil's US counterpart was Stephen Biegun, Trump's special envoy.
Ortagus said in a statement that the early comments from the DPRK
delegation do not reflect the content or the spirit of today's eight and a
half hour discussion.
The US brought creative ideas and had good discussions with its DPRK
counterparts, she said, using the North's formal acronym.
Ortagus said the United States previewed a number of new initiatives that
would allow progress on the statement reached in Singapore at the first
Trump Kim summit last year.
The two leaders adopted a vaguely worded document on the complete
denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula but little progress has since been
made on dismantling the North's nuclear programme.
The two sides met at a heavily guarded venue on an island off Stockholm,
several hundred metres (yards) from the North Korean embassy, an AFP
As the meeting got underway, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted: I
am encouraged that US and (North Korean) working level delegations are
currently in Sweden to hold talks.
Dialogue, she said, was needed to reach denuclearisation and peaceful
Similar level talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament were held in
Stockholm in March 2018 and then in January this year.
North Korea claimed to have entered a new phase in its defence capability
with Wednesday's test of a submarine launched ballistic missile the most
provocative since Pyongyang began dialogue with Washington in 2018.
North Korea frequently couples diplomatic overtures with military moves as
a way of maintaining pressure on negotiating partners, analysts say, and may
believe this weapons system gives it added leverage.
The Pentagon said Thursday the missile seems to have been launched from a
sea based platform and not a submarine.
Trump has said he sees no problem with a string of short range missile
tests conducted previously by North Korea, while insisting his personal ties
with the North's leader remain good.
The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold closed door talks
early next week on the latest test, diplomats said.
Those talks were requested by Britain, France and Germany, as the European
powers push for the world body to keep up pressure on Pyongyang which is
under heavy US and UN sanctions over its weapons program.
North Korea is banned from ballistic missile launches by Security Council
Since the US North Korea talks began, Russia and China have been calling
for the UN to start lifting sanctions so as to create momentum towards the
North's denuclearisation. But the United States has refused.
The United States and the DPRK will not overcome a legacy of 70 years of
war and hostility on the Korean Peninsula through the course of a single
Saturday, Ortagus said.
These are weighty issues, and they require a strong commitment by both
countries. The United States has that commitment.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)