It has been confirmed that from the 31st of last month to August 2nd, the United States and North Korea conducted informal meetings in Singapore.
During the unofficial talks, North Korea stated at that it would reconsider its nuclear policies. Choi Seon Hui, Director General of the American Affairs Bureau of North’s Foreign Ministry, stated in an email sent to the Voices of America (VOA), “North Korea is reconsidering the nuclear issue in response to the U.S.’s hostile policies,” She went on to explain, “If U.S. does not revise its hostile behavior, the prospects of North Korean denuclearization is very remote.”
Choi continued, “The future of U.S.-North Korean relations and the nuclear issues between our countries is now entirely dependent upon choices of the U.S.,” She added, “If we see the U.S. change its hostile policy in actions rather than words, then North Korea will likewise embark on solving the problem.”
Joel Wit, a former State Department official who is a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at John Hopkins University, has been revealed as the U.S. representative who attended the meeting.
Back in February, North Korea and the U.S. held high-level talks in Beijing, China, resulting in the so-called ‘2.29 Agreement,’ under which the U.S would give food aid to North Korea if the country denuclearize.
However, the deal was nullified following North Korea’s long-range rocket launch in April, which violated terms of the agreement.
Until recently, it was said that the two countries were undergoing basic communications through channels in New York.
The U.S. Department of State explained that they knew about North Korea and the U.S.’s “track two” (private channel) meetings in Singapore but claimed the U.S. government has not been involved.
Meanwhile, on the 20th of last month, North Korea accused South Korea and the U.S. of sending a defector, Cheon Young Chul, back to North Korea, with instruction to destroy Kim Il Sung’s statue located at the border of North Korea and China.
It is in light of this and other conflicts between the two countries that North Korea claimed the U.S. had been acting aggressively, which, as Choi explained, influenced their reconsideration of nuclear issues.
She stated, “The U.S.’s hostile policy towards North Korea has mounted into a reoccurring cycle of confrontation and tension, which has made the possibility of denuclearization in the Peninsula remote.”
On the other hand, the U.S. State Department had emphasized on numerous occasions that it has continuously tried to implement policy to establish peace and stability on the peninsula and that it does not hold a hostile stance towards North Korea.