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North Korea not keen to ‘sit face to face’ with US

North Korea not keen to ‘sit face to face’ with US

North Korea feels that there is "no need to sit face to face with the US" for talks, a top Pyongyang diplomat said today, accusing Washington of taking advantage of a dialogue only as "a tool for grappling its political crisis".

First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the remark as talk of another summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gained traction recently after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he would push for such a meeting to take place before the November presidential election in America, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“Now is a very sensitive time when even the slightest misjudgment and misstep would incur fatal and irrevocable consequences. We cannot but be shocked at the story about the summit indifferent to the present situation of North Korea-US relations,” Choe said in a statement carried by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The US would be mistaken if it still thinks "negotiations would still work on us", Choe said, adding the North has already "worked out a detailed strategic timetable for putting under control the long-term threat from the US".

“We do not feel any need to sit face to face with the US, as it does not consider the North Korea-US dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis.”

Trump and Kim have met three times since June 2018 to try to reach a deal on dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program in exchange for US concessions, Yonhap News Agency reported.

At the first summit in Singapore in 2018, the two leaders agreed to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, better bilateral relations and a lasting peace regime. But their second summit in Hanoi in February 2019 ended without an agreement.

The two leaders met again four months later at the inter-Korean border and agreed to resume working-level negotiations. Both sides held working-level talks in Stockholm in October, but no progress was made..