North Korea dismissed the idea of resuming nuclear negotiations with the US in a statement on Saturday. North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said the country does not “feel any need” to negotiate with the US. Choe also said that for Washington, dialogue with North Korea is “nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis.” North Korea also accused the US of having a “hostile policy” towards Pyongyang.
Choe’s comments come after former National Security Advisor turned best-selling author John Bolton said that President Trump might seek another meeting with Kim Jong-Un in an “October surprise” before the 2020 presidential election.
Bolton is believed to have sabotaged negotiations between Kim and Trump, and openly considered a “Libyan model” for North Korea. Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi abandoned a nuclear program for sanctions relief in the 2000s and was later killed by US-backed fighters during the 2011 NATO bombing of Libya.
Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun is expected to visit South Korea next week to discuss talks with the North. Biegun served as President Trump’s envoy for the North Korean negotiations. Tensions recently increased between Pyongyang and Seoul after leaflets and balloons were sent into the North. Pyongyang responded by destroying a liaison building made to host talks between the two Koreas that was located in North Korea.
North Korea has always maintained it needs sanctions relief from Washington to make any real progress with negotiations. Arms control advocates were hopeful in July 2019 after Trump met with Kim in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, and Biegun said the US would consider sanctions relief if North Korea paused its nuclear program, going against Washington’s traditional policy of complete denuclearization. But nothing ever came of Biegun’s comments, and talks failed, and now it looks likes new negotiations will not start anytime soon.