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Sunday, 6 October 2019

Nuclear negotiator for North Korea blames 'old attitude' of US as nuclear talks break down

North Korea's chief negotiator has said nuclear talks with the US had broken down - but Washington insisted they had "good discussions" which it intends to build on.

The two sides gave contrasting views of the negotiations in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday, the first meeting since February after a failed summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

North Korea's top negotiator Kim Myong Gil said the talks had "not fulfilled our expectations and broke down. I am very displeased about it".
He blamed the breakdown on the US' failure "to discard its old stance and attitude".
But US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Mr Kim's comments did "not reflect the content or the spirit" of more than eight hours of talks, and Washington had accepted Sweden's invitation to go back for more discussions with Pyongyang in two weeks.
She said the US delegation "previewed a number of new initiatives that would allow us to make progress in each of the four pillars" of a joint statement issued after Mr Trump and Mr Kim's first summit in Singapore.
"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. These are weighty issues, and they require a strong commitment by both countries. The United States has that commitment," she said.
North Korea has since resumed missile tests, including an underwater-launched missile that fell inside Japan's exclusive economic zone on Wednesday.
Since June, US officials had struggled to persuade North Korea to return to the table, but that appeared to change this week when North Korea abruptly announced it had agreed to hold talks.
Sweden has often acted as a bridge between Washington and Pyongyang because the US does not have official diplomatic relations with North Korea.

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