Oct 5, 2019

U.S. rebukes North Korea's claim that nuclear talks broke down

Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

U.S. and North Korean officials disagreed with each other on whether denuclearization talks broke down on Saturday, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: These talks were a hopeful precursor to another summit with Trump and Kim Jong-un, after February's meeting in Hanoi left the leaders empty-handed and back to square one at the negotiating table. This week, North Korea fired at least 1 suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile for the first time since 2016.

What they're saying: The U.S., through a State Department spokesperson, says it plans to return to Stockholm in 2 weeks to continue what it frames as productive denuclearization talks — but North Korea is suggesting the talks "broke down."

  • “The negotiation did not live up to our expectations and broke down. I am very displeased,” North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil said, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
  • "The early comments from the DPRK delegation do not reflect the content or the spirit of today's 8 1/2 hour discussion. The U.S. brought creative ideas and had good discussions with its DPRK counterparts," State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said a few hours after North Korea's statement.

Where it stands: The State Department claims it previewed "a number of new initiatives" that would allow the U.S. to "make progress in each of the four pillars of the Singapore joint statement."

  • The language in the four-point document brokered between the two countries in Singapore last year is vague on the process of denuclearization, as North Korea wanted it to be.

Go deeper: The 4 pillars of Trump and Kim’s “historic” document

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North Korea calls U.S. position in denuclearization talks "sickening"

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

After denuclearization talks between North Korea and the United States ended in Stockholm on Saturday, a spokesperson for North Korea's foreign ministry said negotiators have "no intention to hold such sickening negotiations as what happened this time."

The big picture: The two countries disagreed on how to characterize Saturday's talks, with U.S. officials claiming they planned to return to Stockholm in 2 weeks to continue what they deemed a productive conversation. North Korean officials claimed the talks "broke down."

Go deeperArrowOct 6, 2019

U.S. presented tourism plans to North Korea during denuclearization talks

Cars carrying members of the North Korean delegation in Sweden. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. officials developed and presented a long-term plan to help North Korea establish a sought-after tourism hub in exchange for denuclearization during recent talks in Stolkholm, Bloomberg reports, citing Hankook Ilbo newspaper.

Why it matters: North Korea has tested weapons repeatedly in recent months, after talks with the U.S. came to a standstill in February. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has tried to build a resort in the Wonsan-Kalma coastal area, per Bloomberg.

Go deeperArrowOct 19, 2019

North Korea's Kim sends "defiant" sanctions message at sacred mountain

A North Korean state media photo of leader Kim Jong-un atop a white horse in the snow in North Korea. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un rode a white horse to Mt. Paektu and lashed out at sanctions imposed on the country, the state-run KCNA news agency reported Wednesday — hailing the action as "a great event of weighty importance."

The big picture: The images at the sacred, active volcano and accompanying proclamation that "there will be a great operation to strike the world with wonder again and make a step forward in the Korean revolution" comes days after denuclearization talks between North Korea and the U.S. broke down.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019