Pompeo presses Kim Jong-un to keep his word on nuclear tests

Pompeo presses Kim Jong-un to keep his word on nuclear tests

North Korea is considering suspending nuclear talks with the United States, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on Friday, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

"We have no intention to yield to the U.S. demands in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind", she told reporters in North Korea, Russia's state Tass news agency reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon decide whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said Friday, adding that the USA threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.

USA national security adviser John Bolton, who has argued for a tough approach to the North, said last week that Trump was open to more talks but warned of tougher sanctions if Kim did not denuclearise.

"I'm not sure why the USA came out with this different description", Choe said.

It was not immediately clear if the veteran diplomat was just trying to put pressure on Washington or whether North Korea is seriously considering abandoning denuclearization talks. "The failure of the talks came despite what Choe described as a "mysteriously wonderful" chemistry" between Trump and Kim.

After the breakdown, critics called the meeting-which was the second time Trump and Kim met face-to-face-a "missed opportunity" to end the decades-long Korean war and pave a path for peace on the peninsula.

Mr Pompeo said Kim Jong-un had promised US President Donald Trump in Vietnam that testing would not resume.

"At this time, they (North Korea) are willing to reform and become more open, which requires sanctions being lifted, but they also need to show their willingness to denuclearize and are urging the USA president to take action", he said.

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"It's the administration's desire that we continue to have conversations around this", Pompeo said.

Pompeo gave no sign of US willingness to soften its stance in demanding that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons. "They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that", Mr Trump told reporters.

"Well I think that's inaccurate, but the President is our decision maker", Bolton told reporters on the White House North Lawn on Friday. Pyongyang is aware that Donald Trump has boasted about his ability to get Mr Kim to stop firing missiles and testing nuclear missiles.

Choe's comments echoed the North's usual rhetoric at tense points in its dealings with Washington.

"They're putting down a marker, saying which way things are headed if nothing changes", Pollack, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, said. "It is likely to gauge the USA reaction in the days ahead before making a decision to launch a rocket", he said.

Choe said following the Hanoi talks Kim might lose his commitment to pursue a deal with the United States after it rejected a request to lift sanctions in return for Pyongyang destroying its main nuke site.

Bolton, who has argued for a tough approach to North Korea, said last week that Trump was open to more talks but also warned of tougher sanctions if the North did not denuclearize.

On Monday, the United States special representative for North Korea said Washington would not accept a phased denuclearization by Pyongyang and maintained that the two nations remain closely engaged despite the collapse of the Hanoi summit.

He downplayed recent satellite images that analysts say show activity at North Korean missile sites and urged against making any "snap judgment" on the significance of the images that appear to show that North Korea has begun rebuilding a portion of the Sohae facility previously used to test long-range missile engines. Trump tweet something positive/send love letter (cant believe I'm saying this).

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