North Korea considering suspending nuclear talks with US

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Earlier on Friday, a spokeswoman for South Korea's Ministry of Unification told a press briefing that the weekly inter-Korean meeting scheduled at a liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, had been cancelled after the North Koreans said they would not be sending senior officials.

She refused to comment when asked if recent activity at North Korea's launch sites indicates a new missile test or "satellite launch" - i.e. a disguised missile test - might occur soon.

She added: "I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the United States will eventually put the situation in danger".

Mr Pompeo told reporters on Friday that "on multiple occasions [Mr Kim] spoke directly to the president and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing, nor would he resume missile testing" during their February summit.

On Monday, the United States special representative for North Korea said Washington would not accept a phased denuclearization by Pyongyang and maintained that the two nations remain closely engaged despite the collapse of the Hanoi summit.

North Korea claimed it had only requested a partial lifting of the sanctions.

Choe's remarks, in which she described the USA stand as "gangster-like", seem to point to a change in North Korea's strategy following the talks, with both Pyongyang and Washington initially voicing a readiness to continue on with negotiations.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he expects North Korea's leader will live up to his commitment not to resume nuclear and missile tests. Following the meeting, Trump said the North had demanded full sanctions relief in return for dismantling a limited portion of its nuclear weapons program.

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey took issue Friday with reports suggesting that North Korea may suspend diplomatic talks with the United States and resume missile testing unless the Trump administration lifts various sanctions - a threat the Massachusetts Democrat called "nothing short of extortion".

We closely monitor the situation.

FILE PHOTO: Hyon Song Wol, head of the North Korean Samjiyon art troupe takes a photo of Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son-Hui (C) ahead of the welcoming ceremony of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (not pictured) at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam March 1, 2019. "I have every expectation we will be able to continue to do that".

Bolton said her description of the current state of diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang was "inaccurate", while Pompeo said he has a "vague recollection of being called gangster-like" by North Korean officials before, a jocular reference to North Korea hurling the exact same epithet at him in July for the same reason.

Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui had taken pains to tell reporters that President Donald Trump was not the problem, stressing that ties between him and leader Kim Jong Un were "still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful", according to the NY times.

And by "political calculation", North Korea means Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. In the meantime, he said, "we have stopped missile testing and nuclear testing". "I'd like to speak further within the USA government before we respond". But those meetings broke down after the USA demanded a full declaration of North Korea's nuclear inventory up front - a "gangster-like demand", according to the regime. "We'll see what happens with North Korea, the same way we're going to see what happens in the negotiations with China".

"Let me start by saying the obvious - that diplomacy is still very much alive", Stephen Biegun said at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, DC, on Monday.

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