A high-ranking North Korean diplomat says the window of opportunity for normalizing relations with the United States is getting smaller every day.
Cho Chol Su said Friday that North Korea expected the United States to take more steps to normalize relations by the end of the year.
“We’ve given the United States quite a lot of time and we’re waiting for an answer by the end of this year,” Cho said at an international conference on nuclear nonproliferation in Moscow.
He said if the United States “does not take steps to meet us, does not lessen the level of animosity, this will be a big mistake.’’
Cho is director of the North American affairs department for the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
His comments came a day after another North Korean official, Kwon Jong Gun, a roving ambassador for the North, said planned U.S.-South Korean military drills would amount to “throwing a wet blanket over the spark” of nuclear negotiations. Kwon said the nuclear talks between the North and the United States were “on the verge of extinction.”
The nuclear diplomacy has largely been deadlocked since a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February.
North Korea has demanded that the United States make new proposals to revive the diplomacy by the end of the year.
The United States and South Korea have canceled or scaled back their regular military drills since the start of nuclear talks last year.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said adjusted drills involving the two countries would take place in the coming weeks. The ministry did not specify the scale of the new exercises.
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