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North Korea threatens to end talks with US, resume nuclear and missile tests

Kim Jong Un is expected to make a decision soon

Kham/Pool via Bloomberg/Getty Images

North Korea threatened on Friday to suspend negotiations with the U.S. and resume nuclear and missile testing, BBC News reported.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son‑hui told diplomats and foreign correspondents that the talks between the two nations last month broke down when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton created an "atmosphere of hostility and mistrust."

Choe was referring to the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump that ended when the U.S. refused to lift sanctions against the country unless it agreed to destroy all of its nuclear sites.

She said that while the personal relationship between Kim and Trump was "still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful," Kim had doubts about continuing negotiations, according to the New York Times.

"We have neither the intention to compromise with the U.S. in any form nor much less the desire or plan to conduct this kind of negotiation," Choe told reporters during a news conference in Pyongyang, according to the report.

Choe added that the nation's self-imposed suspension on nuclear weapons and long-range missiles tests may come to an end.

"Whether to maintain this moratorium or not is the decision of our chairman of the state affairs commission," Choe said, referring to Kim by one of his many titles, the NY Times reported.

Kim is expected to make his decision on the matter "in a short period of time," she said.

What did Pompeo and Bolton say?

Pompeo told reporters on Friday at the White House that North Korea's name-calling had not done anything to harm talks with Kim.

"I saw the remark that she made," Pompeo said. "We are hopeful that we can continue to have conversations and negotiations."

Bolton told reporters that Choe's description of the negotiation break down was inaccurate and that he had been in contact with officials in South Korea.

"We've discussed their reaction and our reaction," Bolton said. "I'd like to speak further within the U.S. government before we respond."

South Korean officials are reportedly monitoring the situation.

What else?

Since the meeting in Hanoi, satellite images have shown that North Korea has begun rebuilding a structure at its Tongchang‑ri satellite‑launching site, according to analysts. The site had been used previously to test and develop long-range missiles.

North Korea has not conducted nuclear or missile testing since 2017.

One last thing…
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