North Korea said Thursday the United States should come up with a new proposal if it truly wants to resume denuclearization negotiations, warning that time is not sufficient to produce results before its earlier imposed end-of-the-year deadline.
Kwon Jong-gun, director general of the North Korean foreign ministry's American affairs department, made the remark in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, saying the stalled nuclear talks won't resume automatically just because the US calls repeatedly for it.
"As the Comrade Chairman of the State Affairs Commission has already declared in his historic Policy Speech, the US should come out to the table for the DPRK-US dialogue with a correct method of calculation and the time limit is until the end of this year," Kwon said, referring to leader Kim Jong-un by his title.
The official also said the US should have the right attitude.
"Even though we are to think of holding a dialogue with the US, we need first to see a proper approach towards the negotiation on the part of the US Negotiation should be conducted with a counterpart who has a good sense of communication, and it could also be possible only when the US comes up with a proper counterproposal," he said.
"In case the US intends to sit with folded arms like today, time might be enough. However, if the US is to move towards producing a result, time will not be enough," he added.
In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that he will wait for the US to make a "courageous" decision until the end of this year, apparently urging Washington to ease what it sees as unilateral denuclearization demands.
Nuclear talks between the North and the US have been stalled since the February breakdown of their summit as they failed to match Pyongyang's denuclearization steps with Washington's sanctions relief.
With regard to South Korea's efforts to mediate the resumption of their talks, Kwon urged Seoul to stay out, saying that it is a bilateral matter between Pyongyang and Washington.
North Korea-US talks are literally talks between the two countries and also given the origin of hostile relations between them, it is not a matter that South Korea can intervene with, he said.
He said that the relations between the North and the US are based on friendly ties between their leaders and that if Pyongyang has anything to say to Washington, there is no need for Seoul to help since it could use their existing communication channels.
The North Korean official also said that Seoul officials are claiming that behind-the-scenes talks are under way between the two Koreas, but that there is no such thing going on right now.
Following the statement, Seoul's unification ministry said the government's stance remains unchanged that it will push for the implementation of inter-Korean agreements.
"We will continue our efforts for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of lasting peace based on the prompt resumption of inter-Korean and North Korea-US dialogue," a ministry official said. (Yonhap)