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North Korea: 'No intention' to meet with the U.S. again

Pyongyang dismissed the prospect of another summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a statement issued Tuesday. File Photo by Shealah Craighead/White House
Pyongyang dismissed the prospect of another summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a statement issued Tuesday. File Photo by Shealah Craighead/White House
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SEOUL, July 7 (UPI) -- North Korea on Tuesday doubled down on its stance that it had "no intention" of meeting with the United States again and criticized South Korea's "meddling" in its relationship with Washington.

"Explicitly speaking once again, we have no intention to sit face to face with U.S.," Kwon Jong Gun, director general in charge of U.S. affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry, said in a statement carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency.

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Kwon's statement came on the same day U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, Washington's point man on North Korean affairs, arrived in South Korea for a three-day visit.

The North Korean official also derided the South's continuing efforts to mediate another engagement between Pyongyang and Washington.

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"It is just the time for [South Korea] to stop meddling in other's affairs but it seems there is no cure or prescription for its bad habit," Kwon said. "The inter-Korean relations are bound to go further bankrupt as they only talk nonsense, unaware of the time."

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said he would push for another meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before the presidential election in November. A spokesman for South Korea's unification ministry reiterated Monday that the government was still supporting efforts for another U.S.-North Korea summit.

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Former White House national security adviser John Bolton told reporters in New York last week that Trump might meet with Kim ahead of the election as an "October surprise."

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However, Biegun called a summit before the election "unlikely" at a virtual seminar held by the German Marshall Fund's Brussels Forum in late June.

North Korea slammed the idea of another U.S.-North Korea summit on Saturday, saying the United States "is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us."

"Is it possible to hold dialogue or have any dealings with the U.S., which persists in the hostile policy toward the DPRK in disregard of the agreements already made at the past summit?" Choe Son Hui, North Korea's first vice minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement carried by KCNA.

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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the official name of North Korea.

Choe also dismissed an "October surprise" meeting between Trump and Kim.

"It is clear to us, even without meeting, with what shallow trick the U.S. will approach us as it has neither intention nor will to go back to the drawing board," she said.

Relations between the United States and North Korea have frozen over since the second Trump-Kim summit, held last year in Hanoi, Vietnam, failed to produce an agreement on issues such as sanctions relief for the North and a timetable for proceeding with denuclearization.

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The U.S. State Department said in a statement Monday that Biegun would travel to South Korea and Japan from Tuesday to Friday "to continue close allied cooperation on a range of bilateral and global issues and further strengthen coordination on the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK."

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