Moscow: North Korea has been aware of Washington’s attempts at contact since mid-February, but sees no reason to engage in dialogue until what it sees as hostile policies are dropped, Choe Son Hui, first vice minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement published by the Korean Central News Agency.
The statement comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are in Seoul on an official visit where they held 2+2 talks with counterparts. During the talks, the US confirmed its commitments to the denuclearization of the North and defending the South.
“In order for a dialogue to be held, an atmosphere for both parties to exchange words on an equal basis must be created. But what has been heard from the US since the emergence of the new regime is only a lunatic theory of ‘threat from North Korea’ and groundless rhetoric about ‘complete denuclearization,'” North Korean diplomat stated.
She said that Pyongyang “will keep tabs” of Washington’s “ill deeds” and any other activities it considers hostile and will reciprocate accordingly. The minister noted that the North is ready for new sanctions and is weighing adequate responses.
“It [Washington] had better contemplate what we can do in the face of its continued hostile policy toward us … We already clarified that we will counter the US on the principle of power for power and goodwill for goodwill,” she stressed.
North Korea also expressed its unwillingness to return to the Singapore or Hanoi format of negotiations with the US as it sees them as a “delaying-time trick.”
In 2018, during the first-ever meeting between leaders of North Korea and the US in Singapore, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a joint agreement, marking the de-escalation of relations between the two countries. The two leaders met the following year in Hanoi to continue the negotiations but failed to reach a deal on the issues of sanctions. The relations between the two countries have since tensed, with Pyongyang ignoring all attempts at contact from Washington since mid-February 2021 following the announcement of the March joint military drills between the US and South Korea.