Chance of talks with US 'narrowing': North Korea

Clay Curtis
November 5, 2019

"The U.S. persistently tries to brand the DPRK as a "state sponsor of terrorism" at a sensitive time when the DPRK-U.S. dialogue is at a stalemate", the spokesperson said, using the formal name for the North, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Friday the State Department in an annual report reaffirmed the North's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, reiterating that it was "implicated in assassinations on foreign soil".

In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, an unidentified spokesperson for the North's Foreign Ministry rejected the report, labeling it "a grave politically-motivated provocation ... full of all sorts of falsity and fabrication".

"The channel of the dialogue between the DPRK and the United States is more and more narrowing due to such attitude and stand of the USA", the spokesperson was quoted as saying in English.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to be pushing for a fresh summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in December, South Korea's spy agency said, predicting preparatory talks between the two sides to fine-tune the summit's agenda.

However, an earlier description of the regime's "dangerous and malicious behavior" has been omitted in the latest report, apparently in consideration of ongoing diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

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Author Doug Wead interviewed Trump on the issue and was able to read some of the personal letters exchanged between the president and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un.

The agency also mentioned the precedent of Kim visiting China before his first and second summits with President Trump, and said that they are looking into that possibility should the working-level negotiations between Pyeongyang and Washington go smoothly.

It also said the third round of Kim-Trump summit may be just around the corner.

The North soon made an official offer to discuss the issue in writing, but Seoul has said that all pending issues in inter-Korean relations should be resolved through dialogue and consultations.

North Korea's apparent threat to end the joint business came after its state media reported last month that the North's leader Kim Jong-un ordered the destruction of all "unpleasant-looking" facilities built by the South at the mountain resort.

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