North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon has rejected an offer by the United States to hold negotiations without any preconditions about the secretive state’s nuclear weapons programme.
“We are not considering even the possibility of any contact with the US, let alone having it, which would get us nowhere,” he said in a statement on Wednesday night. Such talks would only take up “precious time,” the foreign minister was cited as saying by the state-run agency KCNA.
Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, on Tuesday accused the US of having false expectations after its special envoy to North Korea had again held out the possibility of talks without preconditions during a visit to Seoul on Monday.
Talks between Washington and Pyongyang have not made progress since a failed summit in Vietnam in 2019 between then-president of the US, Donald Trump, and Kim Jong Un. Since US President Joe Biden took office, North Korea has appeared to adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Kim said last week his isolated country must be “prepared for both dialogue and confrontation” with the United States.
North Korea has made it clear several times since 2019 that it is not interested in new talks unless Washington submits new proposals.