N. Korea expects US talks once ‘threats are removed’


A senior North Korean official revealed Monday a working-level dialogue with the U.S. is likely “in a few weeks,” but he insisted they can only discuss the North’s denuclearization if conditions are met, Pyongyang media reported.

“The discussion of denuclearization may be possible when threats and hurdles endangering our system security and obstructing our development are clearly removed beyond all doubt,” the official from Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency KCNA.

It was not clear from the statement what specific threats were being referred to, but the official insisted it was up to the U.S. whether negotiations will be “a window for chance or an occasion to precipitate crisis.”

The North has sent mixed signals since Chairman Kim Jong-un agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump in June that the two sides would hold a working-level dialogue.

Joint U.S.-South Korean military drills and a series of North Korean missile tests have since elevated tensions, but both sides have also signaled a willingness to talk.

The South’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper also reported Monday that Trump was invited to visit Pyongyang in a personal letter sent last month.
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