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NKorea: No Talks Unless US Changes View05/24 06:36

   SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea said Friday that nuclear negotiations 
with the United States will never resume unless the Trump administration moves 
away from what Pyongyang described as unilateral demands for disarmament.

   The statement by an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman 
published in state media was the country's latest expression of displeasure 
over the stalled negotiations as it continues to press Washington to soften its 
stance on enforcing sanctions against the North's crippled economy.

   It came as President Donald Trump prepares to travel to Japan this weekend 
for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in which the North Korean nuclear 
issue will likely be high on the agenda.

   In the statement carried by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency, 
the North Korean spokesman accused the U.S. of deliberately causing February's 
collapse of talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with 
unilateral and impossible demands.

   "We hereby make it clear once again that the United States would not be able 
to move us even an inch with the device it is now weighing in its mind, and the 
further its mistrust and hostile acts toward the DPRK grow, the fiercer our 
reaction will be," the statement said, referring to North Korea's formal name, 
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

   "Unless the United States puts aside the current method of calculation and 
comes forward with a new method of calculation, the DPRK-U.S. dialogue will 
never be resumed and by extension, the prospect for resolving the nuclear issue 
will be much gloomy," the statement added.

   The U.S. has said the Trump-Kim talks broke down because of North Korean 
demands for sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear 
capabilities. Kim has since declared that the Trump administration has until 
the end of the year to come up with mutually acceptable terms for a deal.

   Friday's statement follows two separate launches of short-range missiles 
earlier this month, which ended a pause in North Korea's ballistic missile 
launches that began in late 2017 and was seen as measured brinkmanship aimed at 
increasing pressure on Washington without actually causing the negotiations to 
collapse. The North has also strongly protested the recent U.S. seizure of a 
North Korean cargo ship that had been involved in banned coal exports and 
demanded the vessel to be immediately returned.

   Following the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit, North Korea also 
significantly slowed the pace of its engagement with South Korea, which has 
been eager to improve bilateral relations and help revive discussions between 
Washington and Pyongyang.

   South Korea earlier this week vowed to push ahead with plans to resume 
large-scale humanitarian aid to the North. But it's unclear whether any aid 
package from South Korea would influence the behavior of North Korea, which has 
been demanding much bigger concessions from Seoul, such as the resumption of 
inter-Korean economic projects currently blocked by U.S.-led sanctions against 
Pyongyang.


(KA)

 
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