South Korea to push for US-North Korea talks despite setback
A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (2-R) and US President Donald J. Trump (3-L) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 28, 2019. EPA-EFE/FILE/KCNA EDITORIAL USE ONLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Seoul, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- The government of South Korea said Friday it will continue to try to push for talks on denuclearization between North Korea and the United States.
Earlier in the day, Pyongyang had announced that they were considering suspending the talks in the wake of a failed summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Hanoi, held around the end of February.
The South Korean presidential office, in a short statement on Friday, said the current situation could not be judged by merely listening to the declarations made earlier by North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-Hui.
The statement added that they were keenly monitoring the situation and that whatever the circumstances, the government would work toward resumption of negotiations between North Korea and the US.
"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 had said at a press conference in Pyongyang, according to a report by Russian news agency Tass.
Although Washington and Pyongyang give different versions of what happened at the Hanoi negotiating table, the disagreement revolved around the number of assets of the North Korean nuclear program to be dismantled and the volume of international sanctions on Pyongyang that would be alleviated as a "corresponding measure."
Seoul, on its part has played a key role in mediating between Pyongyang and Washington and getting them on the negotiating table ever since a rapprochement between North Korea and South Korea - technically still at war - had kicked off in the beginning of last year.
However, the South Korean Unification Ministry had told EFE that the weekly inter-Korean meeting at the border on Fridays, which was started in September, has not been held for three weeks.
A spokesperson of the ministry said that Pyongyang had asked for canceling the meeting on Mar. 8 on the occasion of International Women's Day, which is a holiday in North Korea.
However, they also canceled the meeting on Mar. 1 and Mar. 15 saying their officials were unable to go to the meeting place at Kaesong, located at the border.