North Korea’s top diplomat said yesterday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a “diehard toxin” who only complicates denuclearisation talks and North Korea was ready for both dialogue and standoff.
Talks aimed at dismantling the North’s nuclear and missile programmes have stalled since a failed second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in February.
Trump and Kim met again in June at the inter-Korean border and agreed to reopen working-level negotiations, but that has not happened.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, who took part in the Hanoi summit along with Pompeo, called the chief US negotiator the “diehard toxin of the US diplomacy” who employs “hackneyed sanctions rhetoric”.
Ri referred to Pompeo’s remarks in recent press interviews in which he said sanctions would be kept until North Korea takes concrete actions on denuclearisation.
“He is truly impudent enough to utter such thoughtless words which only leave us disappointed and sceptical as to whether we can solve any problem with such a guy,” Ri said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.