March 18, 2019
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North Korea says it might suspend denuclearization talks with US

Seoul, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- North Korea's vice foreign minister on Friday said that Pyongyang might suspend denuclearization talks with the United States following the failure of the Hanoi summit, Yonhap reported, quoting an article by Russian news agency Tass.

"We have no intention to yield to the US demands (put forward at the Hanoi summit) in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind," Choe Son-Hui had said at a press conference in Pyongyang, according to the Tass report.

The report further said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was expected to make an official announcement soon on the next measures by the regime after the summit with US President Donald Trump ended without any agreement on the denuclearization process of the country.

Choe's statement is a first one by the regime that indicates a possible rupture of dialogue after the unsuccessful summit.

Last week, some satellite images showed activity at the missile facilities of the North Korean regime - something that had not been noticed since November 2017 - indicating a possibility that the country could be preparing to carry out new weapons tests to pressurize Washington to resume dialogue as soon as possible.

Choe and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho were present at a press conference after the summit in Hanoi and said that they disagree with the demands made by Trump during the meeting.

The two countries had failed to reach a consensus on the number of nuclear weapons North Korea should dismantle and the amount of international sanctions the US should lift as a "corresponding measure".

After the abrupt end of the summit, US president Donald Trump had said he chose to "walk away" from a deal with Kim because the North Koreans "wanted sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that."

Trump said that neither he nor his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, "felt it was appropriate to sign an agreement."

"We had papers ready to be signed, but it wasn't appropriate. I wanted to do it right, rather than fast," Trump said.

Pompeo said he was optimistic, despite failing to reach an agreement with Pyongyang.

"I wish we could have gotten a little bit further, but I'm optimistic that the progress we've made put us in position to get a really good outcome", Pompeo had said.

Choe has long experience of dealing with the US as she had engaged in denuclearization negotiations with Washington in the 90s, and then in the last decade.

Most recently, she has been part of "track 1.5", a multilateral dialogue series between representatives of the three countries and civilian experts.

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