North Korea demands end to ‘hostile’ US policy

SEOUL

North Korea called on the U.S. Sunday to make a “complete and irreversible withdrawal” of its “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang if denuclearization dialogue is to resume.

The demand from an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson came a day after working-level talks between the two sides in Stockholm — the first negotiations of their kind since the last summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North’s Chairman Kim Jong-un — broke down without an agreement last February.

In response to the U.S. State Department’s claim that Washington has accepted Sweden’s invitation to continue dialogue with Pyongyang representatives there in two weeks, the ministry spokesperson said via the state-run KCNA news agency that North Korea has “no intention to hold such sickening negotiations as what happened this time.”

The statement also repeated the North’s ultimatum that the U.S. has until the end of the year to change its attitude.

It is believed Pyongyang wants a phased approach to denuclearization including sanctions relief rather than any sweeping measures.

Trump had suggested ahead of the weekend’s Sweden meeting that he was ready to demonstrate a “new method,” but it is unclear when or if talks will continue.
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