SEOUL– North Korean state media outlets called on the United States on Monday to take “corresponding practical action” reciprocating Pyongyang’s denuclearization steps after the two countries wound up the first round of preparatory talks ahead of a second summit of their leaders.
North Korea has long claimed it has done its part under the agreement reached at June’s historic first-ever summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, such as blowing up its nuclear testing site, and that it’s the U.S.’s turn to do something in return, such as sanctions relief.
But Washington has insisted that the North must do more before the U.S. can relax sanctions.
Reconciling these differences was believed to be the main issue at last week’s negotiations that U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun held in Pyongyang with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol, to prepare for a second Trump-Kim summit set for Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam’s Hanoi.
“If the U.S. responds to our active and preemptive efforts with corresponding practical action from the principle of recognizing and respecting its counterpart, relations between the two countries can move toward the destination at a fast speed,” Meari, one of the North’s propaganda outlets, said in a commentary.
Radio Pyongyang also said that relations between the two countries can move forward at a fast pace if the U.S. takes “credible steps and responds with corresponding practical action.”
Details of last week’s pre-summit talks were not made available, but the two sides agreed to hold more talks ahead of the summit meeting. South Korea’s presidential office said the next round of talks is expected to be held in “a third nation in Asia” next week.
Ryomyong, a propaganda website, accused American conservatives of attempting to stymie the peace progress between Washington and Pyongyang, warning that such opponents will face a difficult fate if efforts to improve relations between the two countries fall apart.
“The U.S. administration should step actively forward to improve relations between the DPRK and the U.S., keeping in mind the lesson learned from last year when DPRK-U.S. negotiations were put into a stalemate as it was swayed by opponents,” the article said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency