North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said Wednesday that Pyongyang was not interested in talks with the US.
“We are not considering even the possibility of any contact with the US, let alone having it, which would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time,” Ri said in a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency.
Ri’s comments came a day after Kim Yo Song, the sister of leader Kim Jong-Un, released a cryptic statement responding to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that said US expectations of Pyongyang would “plunge them into a greater disappointment.”
On Monday, President Biden’s envoy for North Korea, Kim Sung, met with South Korean leaders in Seoul. He said the US was ready to talk with North Korea “anywhere, anytime without preconditions.”
While the US is offering talks, the Biden administration is still calling for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which is likely a non-starter for talks with Pyongyang. A more realistic approach that was considered by the Trump administration would be to offer sanctions relief in exchange for a freeze in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.