SEOUL, A pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan said Monday that the United States' recent move to coordinate the pace of denuclearization dialogue and the inter-Korean cooperation raises doubt over whether Washington has a willingness to move nuclear talks with Pyongyang forward.
South Korea and the U.S. launched a working group last week for more systemic and frequent discussions on ways to deal with Pyongyang as the U.S. expressed concerns about a possible mismatch of progress in denuclearization talks and inter-Korean cooperation.
The ChosonSinbo, the pro-Pyongyang paper in Japan, raised suspicions that the U.S. might have little interest in moving the denuclearization talks with the North forward and focus only on keeping the communist nation from nuclear and missile provocations.
"While in one part the Trump administration says it wants a second N.K.-U.S. summit early next year, it is ... trying to hinder the implementation of Koreas' joint declaration through the working group," the ChosonSinbo newspaper said in an article.
"Some view this as a sign that the U.S. is shifting to a Trump-style strategic patience focusing on situation management without breaking up the negotiating table," the paper said, referring to former President Barack Obama's policy of waiting patiently for Pyongyang to take steps toward denuclearization while keeping sanctions and pressure on the regime.
Referring to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent remark that there is "no time frame" for North Korea's denuclearization, the paper also said the North "cannot help but feel suspicious about its dialogue partner."
"Should the occupant of the White House try to take the same path as his predecessor, who created the vicious circle of distrust and confrontation while talking about patience, the DPRK cannot help but take a corresponding attitude," the paper said.
Denuclearization talks between the U.S. and the North have been stalled as Washington wants Pyongyang to take more denuclearization measures, while the North wants a reward from the U.S., such as sanctions relief for the steps it has taken so far, which includes blowing up its nuclear testing site.
Source: Yonhap News Agency