North Korea on Thursday said it will not have a dialogue with the United States until Washington withdraws its “hostile policies” towards Pyongyang. According to ANI, which cited a report from Seoul-based Yonhap news agency, North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said that the United States contacted them for talks but Pyongyang rejected the request as it doesn’t want to engage in a dialogue with Washington until the hostile policies are withdrawn. The comment comes amid the visit of top US diplomats to South Korea, including State Secretary Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“We declared already our stand that any DPRK-US contact and dialogue cannot be made unless the US hostile policy is withdrawn and, accordingly, will ignore such US attempts in the future. If the dialogue is to be made, circumstances for discussion on an equal footing must be created,” Choe Son-hui was quoted as saying by North Korea’s state media Korean Central News Agency.
The United States had earlier informed that Washington had contacted North Korea for talks but didn’t receive any positive response. Earlier this week, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki acknowledged media reports claiming the US had approached North Korea for dialogue in February, adding “the new administration did reach out through multiple channels but did not receive any response from Pyongyang”.
Choe Son-hui said that the United States can’t keep working towards the “containment” of North Korea and then expect Pyongyang to participate in talks. Son-hui added that after the change of administration in the United States, similar arguments were heard about the so-called “threats” and “complete denuclearization” of North Korea. Son-hui further slammed the United States for deploying surveillance assets against Pyongyang and Washington’s joint military exercise with the South.
North Korea has remained a matter of national security for the United States for the past several decades, particularly since Washington sent its military to the Korean peninsula in the 1950s to assist the South in the civil war. Since then, the United States has maintained a presence in the region with its Indo-Pacific Command. The situation became hostile after North Korea allegedly developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology that could easily hit its key allies in the region, including Japan.