UPDATED 5:30 PM PT – Saturday, October 5, 2019
Nuclear negotiations with North Korea have reportedly broken down. Pyongyang’s chief negotiator confirmed the move on Saturday to reporters outside North Korea’s embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
Kim Myong Gil said the talks “did not fulfill their expectations” and were finally called off.
“The breakup of the negotiation without any outcome is totally due to the fact that the U.S. would not give up their old viewpoint and attitude,” said the envoy.
U.S. officials said in a statement the two sides had “good discussions” and that North Korea’s comments “do not reflect the content or the spirit of today’s 8 ½ hour discussion.” They also revealed that they have accepted an invitation to return to Sweden in two weeks for further negotiations. North Korean officials have yet to respond to this invitation.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus weighed in, voicing hope for future negotiations.
“The United States and the DPRK will not overcome a legacy of 70 years of war and hostility on the Korean Peninsula through the course of a single Saturday,” she said. “These are weighty issues, and they require a strong commitment by both countries.”
A North Korean delegation arrived in the Swedish capital on Thursday for the working level talks. The day before they arrived, Pyongyang raised eyebrows by test-firing a submarine based missile into the Wonsan Bay.