North Korea said on Tuesday that it’s up to the U.S. to choose what “Christmas gift” it wants from Pyongyang as an end-of-year deadline for nuclear talks inches closer.
Ri Thae Song, a North Korean vice foreign minister handling U.S. affairs, emphasized in a statement that the Trump administration is running out of time to salvage the talks and offer a deal that the two can agree on, The Associated Press reports.
“The dialogue touted by the U.S. is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S.,” Ri said in comments reported by state media, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name. “What is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get.”
Ri added that North Korea has no intention of resuming talks unless it gets something significant in return, the AP reports.
In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set a deadline for the end of the year to reach a denuclearization deal with the U.S. But negotiations have stalled for months, spurring further increased tensions in its relationships with both South Korea and the United States.
Negotiations for a denuclearization deal first crumbled in February after the U.S. refused to lift sanctions for North Korea to partially relinquish its nuclear weapons. Talks also deteriorated last month after North Korea called the U.S. proposals for negotiations “sickening.”
North Korea said last month that the U.S. had offered to resume talks in December, but it is unclear if Pyongyang will accept the proposal to continue negotiations.
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