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Iran Press TV

North Korea rules out return to talks with US despite good personal relations with Trump

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 11 January 2020 8:11 AM

North Korea says it will not return to the negotiation table with the United States solely based on the "good relations" between the country's leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

Adviser to the North Korean foreign ministry, Kim Kye Gwan, said in a statement on Saturday that Pyongyang has received Trump's birthday greetings for Kim from South Korea, but this will not bring the country back to negotiations with Washington.

"Despite the leaders' good relations, it is a mistake for the United States to expect a return to talks," he said.

"We have been deceived by the United States, being caught in the dialogue with it for over one year and a half, and that was the lost time for us," he added.

The adviser assured that Pyongyang will not discuss proposals such as those Trump made at his second summit with Kim last year in Vietnam, where the US president refused to accept a proposal for bilateral action and left the talks.

He said that Pyongyang will not give up its nuclear facilities for partial sanctions relief, and will only return to talks when Washington makes concessions.

The North has been under harsh sanctions by both the United Nations and the US over its nuclear and missile programs.

In spite of those sanctions, Pyongyang has taken several unilateral steps as a goodwill gesture in the course of diplomacy with the US since 2018. It even put a halt on its nuclear tests since 2017, but Washington refused to offer any sanctions relief.

Trump asked South Korea to send the birthday message to Kim on Friday, said South Korea's Director of the National Security Office, Chung Eui-yong, who has just returned from a visit to Washington.

"It is somehow presumptuous for South Korea to meddle in the personal relations between Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong-un and President Trump," Chung said.

The North's adviser also warned Seoul to steer clear of relations between the North and the United States.

South Korea should not intervene in the two nations' ties as if seeking "to play a mediator role," he added.

The South's president, Moon Jae-in, who has long been pushing for talks between Washington and Pyongyang, said on Tuesday that "the momentum for US-North Korea talks must continue."

The North, for months, had been calling on the US to ease the sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in order for diplomacy to make sense.

Kim had even set a year-end deadline for Washington for the resumption of talks. The US, however, missed the deadline and failed to take any meaningful action.

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