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North Korea diplomat says no provocations until Trump clarifies policy

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea diplomat says no provocations until Trump clarifies policy
North Korea says it is waiting on announcements of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s policy toward Pyongyang before engaging in provocations. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A top North Korea diplomat said Pyongyang does not plan to engage in missile or nuclear provocations until U.S. President-elect Donald Trump makes clear his plans for a new North Korea policy.

Choe Son Hui, the North Korean foreign ministry director for North American affairs, explained the country's intentions in a written statement, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.

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Choe was one of two North Korean officials who met with former U.S. officials in Geneva in November.

The statement included reactions from North Korea on Trump's victory.

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"North Koreans were surprised as much as Americans," Choe stated, according to RFA.

On Trump, Choe said she "does not know anything" about the president-elect and that in order to "learn more, it is best to keep [our] mouth shut."

The North Korean delegation that met with Joel Wit, editor of 38 North, a Johns Hopkins University website dedicated to North Korea issues, and Robert Einhorn, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, had repeatedly asked the former U.S. officials how long it would take for the Trump administration to review its initial policy toward North Korea, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

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"North Korea will wait for the results of the Trump administration's policy review, and will not take any action that will close the doors to improving relations or negotiations, until the outline of a North Korea policy is revealed," Choe said in her statement.

The statement was given to the U.S. delegates, according to the report.

Following the meeting in November, Wit wrote an article in The Atlantic, calling for talks, and not sanctions, as the path toward resolving the North Korea nuclear issue.

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Trump has had little to say about North Korea but his remarks have ranged from describing Kim Jong Un as a "maniac" to expressing some interest in meeting with Kim.

Advisers close to Trump have also said the future administration could opt for a wide range of North Korea policy, from adopting tougher sanctions to even initiating dialogue with Kim over a "hamburger meal."

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