DPRK negotiator Kim Miyong-gil reads statement outside the DPRK Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Oct 5, 2019. (KYODO NEWS VIA AP)
HELSINKI - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK's) chief negotiator said that nuclear talks with the US had broken down, but Washington maintained the two sides had “good discussions” in Sweden that it intends to build on in two weeks.
The DPRK negotiator, Kim Miyong-gil, said the talks in Stockholm on Saturday had “not fulfilled our expectations and broke down. I am very displeased about it.” Speaking outside the DPRK Embassy, he read a statement in Korean that a translator next to him read in English.
Kim said negotiations broke down “entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude.”
Kim said negotiations broke down “entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude”
Saturday’s talks were the first between the US and the DPRK since the February breakdown of the second summit between US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam.
The DPRK has since resumed missile tests, including an underwater-launched missile that fell inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone Wednesday.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Kim’s comments did “not reflect the content or the spirit” of the “good discussions” that took place over 8 ½ hours, adding that the US accepted an invitation from Sweden to return to Stockholm in two weeks to continue discussions.
In a statement, Ortagus 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 Trump and 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,” Ortagus said.
Talks were held at the Villa Elfvik Strand conference facility in Lidingo, an island in the Stockholm archipelago located northeast of the capital, Swedish news agency TT said. It added that Kim Miyong-gil arrived on Thursday while US Special Representative for the DPRK Stephen Biegun came on Friday.
Because the US does not have official diplomatic relations with the DPRK, Sweden has often acted as a bridge between Washington and Pyongyang.
HONG KONG NEWS