World

North Korea says no talks unless US stops hostile policies

SEOUL North Korea said yesterday it has "no desire" to continue denuclearisation talks unless the US takes steps to end hostilities, a day after the negotiations in Sweden broke down.

The Stocholm talks followed months of stalemate following a February meeting between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, and came after Pyongyang's defiant test of a sea-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday.

The North walked away from the Sweden talks, saying it was disappointed at the lack of "new and creative" solutions offered by Washington.

Pyongyang has "no desire to hold such nauseating negotiations such as this one unless the US takes practical measures to end hostile policies", a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry said.

"The fate of the US-North Korea dialogue is in Washington's hands and the deadline is until the end of this year," he said, in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

In Stockholm, the nuclear-armed North's leading negotiator, Mr Kim Myong Gil, blamed the US for not giving up their "old attitude".

But Washington called the talks "good discussions", saying the comments by North Korea did not reflect the content or the spirit of their 81/2-hour discussion.

The US accepted host Sweden's invitation to resume talks in two weeks' time, State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus said, AFP reported.

'CREATIVE IDEAS'

"The US brought creative ideas and had good discussions with its (North Korean) counterparts," Ms Ortagus said, in a statement after the talks in Stockholm.

She said the US delegation had previewed a number of new initiatives that would pave the way for progress in the talks, and underscored the importance of more intensive engagement to solve the many issues dividing the two sides, Reuters reported.

The meeting was the first formal working-level discussion since Mr Trump and Mr Kim Jong Un met in June and agreed to restart negotiations.

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