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Sunday, April 18, 2021

North Korea Gives U.S. Cold Shoulder, Calls Nuclear Talks ‘Waste of Time’

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SEOUL—North Korea sees no reason to return to nuclear talks with the U.S., a top Pyongyang diplomat said, despite multiple efforts by the Biden administration in recent weeks to engage.

Since the middle of February, the Kim Jong Un regime has received emails and phone calls from the U.S., at the North’s United Nations mission in New York and other avenues, according to a Thursday statement by Choe Son Hui, Pyongyang’s first vice minister of foreign affairs.

Ms. Choe, one of the North’s most prominent interlocutors with Washington, called the outreach a “cheap trick” to stall and drum up public support.

“It will only be a waste of time to sit with the U.S. as it is not ready to feel and accept new change and new times,” Ms. Choe said. “We make it clear that we won’t give it such opportunities as in Singapore and Hanoi again.”

The statement was released a few hours before Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met their South Korean counterparts on Thursday for a joint briefing with reporters.

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