SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea hit back at a U.S. State Department report released last week, saying the report’s description of North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism is an example of a “hostile policy” by the United States that is preventing denuclearisation talks from progressing, state news agency KCNA said on Tuesday.
North Korean and U.S. officials held talks in October for the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed in June to reopen denuclearisation negotiations, but they broke down, with North Korea’s envoy saying the United States failed to show flexibility.
The report “proves once again” that U.S. rejection of North Korea indicated “a hostile policy,” said the KCNA statement, citing a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
“The channel of dialogue between the DPRK and the U.S. is more and more narrowing due to such attitude,” the statement added.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea’s official name.
Kim Jong Un had set in April an end-of-the-year deadline for denuclearisation talks.
North Korea and the United States could hold another round of working-level talks as soon as mid-November to expedite progress, South Korean lawmaker Lee Eun-jae said on Monday after attending a briefing by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service.
The U.S. State Department’s “Country Reports on Terrorism 2018” report released on Nov. 1 reaffirmed North Korea’s re-designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, saying “the DPRK government repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, as the DPRK was implicated in assassinations on foreign soil.”
Four North Koreans identified as suspects by Malaysian police in the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un, remain at large.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)