N. Korea wants to continue talks with U.S.: Amb. Cho

August 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) — North Korea remains determined to maintain the momentum of dialogue with the United States despite a recent hiccup, South Korea’s top envoy in Washington said Thursday.

Amb. Cho Yoon-je dismissed a view that Pyongyang and Washington are shifting back to a confrontation after months of diplomatic engagement.

“North Korea’s intention of maintaining dialogue momentum is certain,” he told South Korea’s Washington, D.C. correspondents.

He was referring to “various speculations” driven by media after President Donald Trump called off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang this week.

South Korean Ambassdor to the U.S. Cho Yoon-je (Yonhap)

South Korean Ambassdor to the U.S. Cho Yoon-je (Yonhap)

Trump cited lack of “sufficient progress” in diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the North.

Skepticism has since grown about Trump’s approach toward the communist nation despite his talk of a good relationship with its leader Kim Jong-un.

The ambassador pointed out the North knows that there will be no easing of sanctions and economic cooperation without continued negotiations and improved ties with the United States.

“Accordingly, it will maintain dialogue and improve relations with the U.S. anyhow,” he stressed.

The North has kept mum publicly on the cancellation of Pompeo’s visit, which apparently reflects its prudent stance, Cho added.

On a possible rift between the allies over Seoul’s plan to open an inter-Korean liaison office in North Korea’s border city of Kaesong, he said related news reports are “overblown.”

Advancing denuclearization talks is a shared core task of the two sides, he said, adding Seoul and Washington are in close consultations on the North Korea issue.