December 15, 2019

U.S. Urges North Korea to Drop ‘Hostile’ Tone, Return to Talks
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s top envoy for nuclear talks urged North Korea to drop its “hostile” rhetoric, and warned Pyongyang not to engage in any provocations during the U.S.’s “sacred” Christmas holiday.“We are fully aware of the strong potential for North Korea to conduct a major provocation in the days ahead,” U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said during a press briefing in Seoul. “Such action will be most unhelpful in achieving a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”Biegun’s comments came on the heels of North Korea’s claims of a second “crucial test” Saturday that it said had boosted its nuclear-deterrent capabilities. Such tests have put further pressure on the U.S. to try to break the deadlock in negotiations between the two countries after working-level talks collapsed in October in Stockholm.“The president has stated repeatedly that he is confident that Chairman Kim is likewise committed to the same goal as us,” Biegun said after meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon. “At the president’s direction, our team remains prepared to engage with our counterparts to North Korea to achieve that goal.”North Korea is seeking greater U.S. concessions in return for his decision to suspend weapons tests and “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Kim Jong Un’s regime has has threatened to take a “new path” next year, if talks fail, with North Korea warning earlier this month that the U.S. might get a “Christmas gift” without progress.Biegun, who was also scheduled Monday to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said the U.S. had no deadline and that there was still “time for us to do our jobs,” adding, “Let’s get this done.”To contact the reporter on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Pae at ppae1@bloomberg.net, Brendan ScottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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