US, North Korea Launch New Talks in Sweden

But they break down, and North Korean official complains
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2019 3:30 PM CDT
US, North Korea Launch New Talks in Sweden
In this Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, file photo provided by the North Korean government, an underwater-launched missile lifts off in the waters off North Korea's eastern coastal town of Wonsan.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

American and North Korean officials met Saturday in Sweden to resume talks—and walked away only hours later, Reuters reports. "The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectation and finally broke off," said Pyongyang's top negotiator, Kim Myong Gil. "The US raised expectations by offering suggestions like a flexible approach, new method and creative solutions, but they have disappointed us greatly and dampened our enthusiasm for negotiation by bringing nothing to the negotiation table." The US team gave no immediate comment, and its leader—US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun—apparently went back to the US Embassy in Stockholm.

Many analysts expressed hope the new working-level nuclear talks would lead to a third summit, per the BBC. The first, in Singapore in 2018, led to a hazy denuclearization agreement, while the second, in Vietnam in February, prompted President Trump to walk out. The latest attempt follows a Thursday report that North Korea had fired yet another ballistic missile. Its eleventh in 2019, this one was launched from a platform at sea and is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. Observers said the launch looked like an attempt to pressure Washington before the Sweden talks. (More North Korea stories.)

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