North Korea says it will resume nuclear talks with the US this weekend


North Korea and the United States will resume nuclear negotiations this weekend, Pyongyang said Tuesday, a move that would break a seven-month long diplomatic deadlock.

The two sides have been teasing plans to restart working-level talks since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met on the Korean border on June 30.

But efforts remained stalled after the leaders failed to reach agreement in their previous summit in Vietnam, which exposed sharp disagreements over the pace of sanctions relief in exchange for steps toward denuclearization.

North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, Choe Son Hui, was quoted as saying the two countries will have preliminary contact on Friday and will hold working-level talks on Saturday.

“It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of (North Korean)-U.S. relations,” Choe said, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

She did not say where it would take place or give more details.

Choe’s statement came a day after Trump’s former hawkish national security adviser John Bolton warned that North Korea was not willing to give up its nuclear weapons and was trying to buy time with diplomacy.

Neither side has given any indication of progress toward narrowing the gap in views about how to achieve their professed goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

But the North has praised Trump’s suggestion made last month that Washington may pursue an unspecified “new method” in the negotiations.

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