Advertisement

North Korea offers to talk, but with conditions

Pyongyang warned that a vicious cycle of tensions would continue unless the U.S. brings an end to the joint military drills.

By
Elizabeth Shim
Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pyongyang said it would be open to talks with Washington if the U.S. agrees to an end to joint military drills. Photo by Astrelok/Shutterstock
Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pyongyang said it would be open to talks with Washington if the U.S. agrees to an end to joint military drills. Photo by Astrelok/Shutterstock

SEOUL, July 29 (UPI) -- North Korea said on Wednesday if Washington seeks dialogue it should place a moratorium on the joint military exercises it conducts with South Korea.

In an interview with North Korea state media outlet KCNA, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "If the U.S. is willing to leave behind hostile acts like the joint military drills and decide to walk a different path, a dialogue becomes possible and many problems can be solved."

Advertisement

The North Korean spokesman also said U.S. Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler was "misleading public opinion" when he recently suggested North Korea has been unwilling to engage in dialogue, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Pyongyang warned that a vicious cycle of tensions would continue unless the U.S. brings an end to the joint military drills, which would be a signal of Washington's sincerity in its "willingness to talk."

The North Korean spokesman said the Obama administration was "resorting to petty tricks when it pinned the failure of its North Korea policy on Pyongyang," and said "offering a 'willingness to talk' and 'flexibility' is nothing but extreme hypocrisy."

South Korean newspaper Kyunghyang Shinmun reported North Korea's Foreign Ministry made a similar statement on Jan. 9 when it offered to stop conducting nuclear tests – on the condition that the U.S. agrees to halt joint military exercises.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines