Senior DPRK official says Sweden no longer needed to mediate U.S. talks

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-19 22:32:03|Editor: yan
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PYONGYANG, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Sweden "no longer" needs to act as a mediator in diplomacy between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, a senior official of the DPRK's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Kim Myong Gil, a roving ambassador of the ministry, told the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that Stockholm should not act as a "back-seat driver."

"The DPRK appreciates the Swedish side for offering the venue for the DPRK-U.S. working negotiations ... early in October. But now that the DPRK and the U.S. know each other's stances so well, Sweden no longer needs to work for the DPRK-U.S. dialogue," Kim said.

"If the Swedish side behaves like a back-seat driver, it might be regarded as unreasonable," he said.

Kim said Thursday that Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for the DPRK affairs, had sent Pyongyang a message through a third country, proposing to resume the stalled nuclear talks in December, but he did not specify the third country at that time.

In his statement to the KCNA, the roving ambassador also reiterated that DPRK-U.S. dialogue is impossible unless the United States makes a bold decision to drop its hostile policy towards the country, echoing the remarks on Monday by Kim Kye Gwan, advisor to the Foreign Ministry, and Kim Yong Chol, chairman of the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

The two countries resumed working-level negotiations in Stockholm in early October but failed to reach any agreement.