North Korea’s UN ambassador says denuclearization is off the table in talks with US

Chair of the delegation of North Korea, Kim Song speaks during General debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on September 30, 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Denuclearization is off the table in negotiations with the United States, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said in a statement Saturday.

In the statement, the ambassador, Kim Song, said the United States’ pursuit of “sustained and substantial dialogue” was a “time-saving trick” to benefit a “domestic political agenda.”

“We do not need to have lengthy talks with the US now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table,” he said.

CNN is reaching out to the State Department, the White House and the National Security Council for comment.

Kim’s comments also referred to a joint statement released Wednesday in which six EU nations condemned North Korea’s short-range missile tests on November 28.

Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland and the UK said they were “deeply concerned by the continued testing of ballistic missiles,” saying they undermined regional stability.

“As these six EU member states are making much trouble to play the role of pet dog of the United States in recent months, one cannot but wonder what do they get in return for currying favour with the United States,” Kim, the ambassador, said.

Saturday’s statement comes as North Korea inches closer to its self-imposed end-of-year deadline for nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration and just days after a North Korean official ominously warned of a “Christmas gift” to the US.

According to South Korea’s Presidential Blue House, President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula in a phone call on Friday night.

Both agreed, the Blue House said in a statement, that a dialogue needed to continue in order to achieve denuclearization.

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