Date
20 September 2019
A file picture shows North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of a summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Pyongyang has signaled its willingness to have fresh talks. Photo: Reuters
A file picture shows North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of a summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Pyongyang has signaled its willingness to have fresh talks. Photo: Reuters

N Korea follows offer of talks with new projectile launches

North Korea said on Monday that it is willing to restart nuclear talks with the United States in late September but warned that dealings between the sides could end unless Washington takes a fresh approach, Reuters reports.

Within hours of the announcement, Pyongyang fired two unidentified projectiles east from its South Pyongan province, according to the report.

The launches followed repeated short-range missile tests by North Korea since its leader Kim Jong-un agreed in a June 30 meeting with US President Donald Trump to reopen working-level talks stalled since their failed February summit in Hanoi.

The talks have yet to resume despite repeated US appeals.

A senior Trump administration official said: “We are aware of reports of projectiles launched from North Korea. We are continuing to monitor the situation and consulting closely with our allies in the region.”

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency that Pyongyang is willing to have comprehensive discussions with the US in late September “of the issues we have so far taken up” at a time and place agreed between both sides.

Trump was asked about the offer while speaking to reporters at the White House and called it “interesting”. 

“I just saw it as I’m coming out here that they would like to meet. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “I always say having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that he hopes for a return to denuclearization talks in the coming days or weeks.

But he reiterated the US objective of North Korea’s complete denuclearization and said Washington is disappointed by Pyongyang’s short-range missile tests.

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