North Korea Puts Conditions on US Talks

Says US Needs to Curb Hostile Policy Toward North Korea

by Jason Ditz, May 19, 2017

Amid reports from South Korea that President Trump has said he was open to talks with North Korea “under certain circumstances,” without ever making clear what those circumstances would be, North Korea has also put its own preconditions on the talks.

Deputy North Korean Ambassador to the UN Kim In Ryong said that North Korea welcomes the idea of US talks, but “what is important is not words, but actions,” and that the US needs to back off its hostile policy toward North Korea for the talks to have any value.

This appeared a bit short of an outright precondition, though Kim insisted that North Korea views US hostility as “the root cause of all problems” in the region. The US State Department insisted that the US wanted North Korea to abandon all of its misdeeds before any talks took place, including scrapping its missile and nuclear programs.

South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in campaigned on the idea of resuming diplomacy with the North, citing the “Sunshine Policy” as a model that he’d like to bring back. Getting diplomacy going is likely to depend heavily on US acquiescence, with the Trump Administration insisting diplomacy is a “failure.”

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