North Korea Warns ‘Gangster-Like’ Tactics of Bolton and Pompeo Undermining Nuclear Talks

"President Trump: Fire Bolton and Pompeo if you have to. Let's get this process back on track."

Region: ,
In-depth Report:

Two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cut short their second summit with no agreement or clear path forward, a top North Korean official said on Friday the “gangster-like” behavior of Trump’s hawkish top officials helped derail the denuclearization negotiations.

At a gathering of diplomats and foreign media in Pyongyang, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui expressed disappointment that the summit ended without a deal and threatened to suspend talks. According to The Associated Press:

Choe, who attended the Feb. 27-28 talks in Hanoi, said Kim was puzzled by what she called the “eccentric” negotiation position of the U.S. She suggested that while Trump was more willing to talk, an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust was created by the uncompromising demands of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. She said statements by senior Trump advisers since the summit have further worsened the climate.

“On our way back to the homeland, our chairman of the state affairs commission said, ‘For what reason do we have to make this train trip again?'” Choe told reporters. “I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the U.S. will eventually put the situation in danger.”

While Pompeo said Friday morning that the administration wishes to continue talks with North Korea, Choe’s comments fueled mounting concerns that Trump and Kim may not return to the negotiating table anytime soon and followed speculation immediately after the summit that Bolton played a key role in the breakdown.

After the breakdown, critics called the meeting—which was the second time Trump and Kim met face-to-face—a “missed opportunity” to end the decades-long Korean war and pave a path for peace on the peninsula. However, Trump and Kim were also praised for building trust and pursuing diplomacy rather than trading insults and threats, as they had done previously.

Trump claimed the talks ended in Hanoi because Kim wanted devastating economic sanctions “lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that.” Earlier this month, Bolton said that if North Korea doesn’t shutter its nuclear program and everything associated with it, “they’re not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them and we’ll look at ramping those sanctions in fact.”

Choe claimed Friday that despite the way things ended in Hanoi, personal relations remain good between Trump and Kim. She also said the North Korean leader will soon “clarify his position” on whether to continue talks or restart missile launches and nuclear tests. In terms of sanctions, she pushed back against Trump’s explanation.

“I’m not sure why the U.S. came out with this different description,” Choe said. “We never asked for the removal of sanctions in their entirety.”

“This time we understood very clearly that the United States has a very different calculation to ours,” she added. “What is clear is that the U.S. has thrown away a golden opportunity this time.”

Duyeon Kim, a senior fellow at the Center for New American Security and columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, responded to Choe’s remarks in a series of tweets. As Kim put it,

“Choe is like the Bolton of NK during summitry; she talks tough time to time.”

However, she concluded, there’s still hope for diplomacy, and key figures from both countries should focus on that.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License


Articles by: Jessica Corbett

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: publicati[email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]