North Korea Blames Pompeo, Bolton For 'Mistrust' That Foiled Negotiations


North Korea has not conducted nuclear or missile testing since 2017.

North Korea is considering suspending nuclear talks with the United States, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on Friday, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

"We have no intention to make concessions to the USA requirements [put forward at the Hanoi summit] in any form, much less the desire to conduct such negotiations", Choe said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors and press, according to comments carried by Russia's TASS News Agency, warning that the USA risked throwing away "a golden opportunity this time".

Choe issued no direct criticism of the USA president and stressed that Trump and Kim have good chemistry.

The vice foreign minister said Pyongyang has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the U.S. takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests and changes its "political calculation".

Kim is expected to make his decision on the matter "in a short period of time", she said.

"I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the USA will eventually put the situation in danger", she continued.

She accused the USA of taking a "gangster-like" stance, according to the Associated Press, but added that "personal relations between the two supreme leaders are still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful". "I'd like to speak further within the USA government before we respond". Why call for another summit to offer the same basic deal Trump has offered all along? "I have a vague recollection of being called gangster-like". "And following that we continued to have very professional conversations".

She said that while the personal relationship between Kim and Trump was "still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful", Kim had doubts about continuing negotiations, according to the New York Times.

What did Pompeo and Bolton say?

Ankit Panda, of the Federation of American Scientists, said Kim's unilateral declaration of the ICBM testing moratorium was "now in question". "We have every expectation he will live up to that commitment".

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They want to take the measure of Trump again, perhaps an indication that they really are confused over what happened in Hanoi. I think that is a pretty accurate assessment.

Bolton, who has argued for a tough approach to North Korea, said last week that Trump was open to more talks but also warned of tougher sanctions if the North did not denuclearize.

The remarks follow reports that North Korea may be preparing for another rocket launch. As Kim put it, "Choe is like the Bolton of NK during summitry; she talks tough time to time".

North Korea expert Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, said NorthKorea may be delivering an ultimatum.

"We can not judge the current situation based exclusively on Vice Minister Choe Son Hui's statements".

"(We) are keeping close tabs on the situation.

Bolton also disputed Choe's characterization that he and Pompeo had created a "hostile atmosphere" as "inaccurate", and said he had discussed the reports from North Korea with his South Korean counterparts this morning.

Choe's comments echoed the North's usual rhetoric at tense points in its dealings with Washington.

"We should not concede to North Korea's threats", he stressed.

He said: "They're putting down a marker, saying which way things are headed if nothing changes". "Just in the past hour, I spoke with my South Korean counterpart and we've discussed their reaction and our reaction, but I would like to speak further within U.S. government before we respond".