The United States is ready to hold talks with North Korea, the State Department said Saturday, after the communist nation warned that expectations for talks with the U.S. are disappearing and threatened to roll back denuclearization measures.
The North's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui issued the warning earlier Saturday in protest of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's branding of Pyongyang's behavior as "rogue." Choe also said the North could "reexamine all the measures we have taken so far," an apparent warning that denuclearization measures could be rolled back.
In response, the State Department said the U.S. is ready for talks.
"As we have indicated, we are prepared to engage in negotiations as soon as we hear from our counterparts in North Korea," a State Department official said on background without elaborating.
Nuclear talks between the North and the U.S. have been stalled after February's summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un broke down without an agreement due to differences over sanctions relief and denuclearization measures.
Trump and Kim held a surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border on June 30 and agreed to resume working-level nuclear talks within weeks, but no such talks have taken place yet as Pyongyang conducted a series of missile and rocket launches.(Yonhap)