Time was running out for the United States to formulate a new strategy to revive denuclearisation talks, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Thursday ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to South Korea.

Iran Press/Asia: Negotiations have been stalled since a second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February collapsed over differences between U.S. calls for complete denuclearisation and Kim’s demands for sanctions relief.

Kim has said a third meeting would be possible only if Washington adopted a more flexible approach, setting a year-end deadline, Reuters reported.

The United States is in behind-the-scenes talks with North Korea over a possible third summit and has proposed reopening working-level negotiations, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday.

Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea who has led working-level talks, is set to arrive in Seoul on Thursday ahead of Trump, who is due in South Korea at the weekend after visiting Japan for the G20 summit.

Trump said on Wednesday he would not meet with Kim during his stay in the South.

Kwon Jong Gun, director-general for U.S. affairs at the North’s foreign ministry, said the United States continues to speak of dialogue while “becoming more and more desperate in its hostile acts.”

He did not elaborate, but a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that the recent U.S. extension of sanctions against North Korea was an act of hostility and an outright challenge to the first summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore last year.

“The dialogue would not open by itself though the U.S. repeatedly talks about resumption of dialogue like a parrot without considering any realistic proposal that would fully conform with the interests of both sides,” Kwon said in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency.

If the United States were to produce results, “time will not be enough,” Kwon said.

“Negotiation should be conducted with a counterpart who has a good sense of communication, and it could also be possible only when the United States comes up with a proper counterproposal,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said that a recent exchange of letters between Trump and Kim boosted hopes for a restart of talks, calling it a “very real possibility.”


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