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