UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator announced late on Saturday that nuclear talks in Sweden at the working-level level between his country and the United States had been suspended.
The talks were seen as a step to end a months-long crisis.
North Korean negotiator Kim Myung-gil, who spent most of the day Saturday in talks with the US delegation, told reporters outside his country’s embassy in Stockholm that the decision was based on US negotiators “not changing their old view or position”.
“The negotiations did not meet our expectations and eventually collapsed,” Gill told reporters through an interpreter.
“The United States has raised expectations by offering proposals like a flexible approach, a new approach and innovative solutions, but it has severely frustrated us and reduced our enthusiasm to negotiate after not bringing anything new to the negotiating table.”
The meeting, held at a conference center in a remote area on the outskirts of Stockholm, was the first formal working-level talks since US President Donald Trump’s summit and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June in which they agreed to resume stalled negotiations since their summit in Vietnam. In February.
The North Korean delegation arrived in Sweden on Thursday after Pyongyang’s surprise announcement of the talks.
Analysts say the leaders of the two countries have great incentives to reach an agreement, although it is unclear whether common ground can be reached after months of tension and stalemate.
A day after the resumption of talks, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile designed to be launched from submarines in a provocative act that also highlighted Washington’s need to move quickly to negotiate a curb on Pyongyang’s growing arsenal.
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