Robert O ‘Brien, the White House national security adviser, told Axios that Washington wanted to get talks with Pyongyang “back on track” and implement north Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s “commitment” to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The two sides have made little progress in talks to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
“We have reached out to the North Koreans and let them know that we are willing to continue the negotiations that took place in Stockholm in early October,” Mr. O ‘Brien said.
‘we’ve been letting them know through various channels that we want these [negotiations] to get back on track and fulfill Chairman Kim’s commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,’ Mr. O ‘Brien told Axios.
Mr. O ‘Brien said North Korea had “promised Christmas gifts”. The President suggested that he give him a vase. We didn’t get a vase or any other kind of Christmas present. That seems positive.
“All we know is that we were told we were going to get Christmas presents and they didn’t come. So I think that’s an encouraging sign. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see some form of testing in the future.” Mr. O ‘Brien added
Axios said o ‘Brien expressed cautious optimism about the fact that Kim has yet to deliver on his promised “Christmas gift.”
Mr. Kim said in December that he would continue to develop North Korea’s nuclear deterrent and introduce a new strategic weapon in the near future, according to the Korean central news agency. Earlier, he said the US had not responded to North Korea’s repeated demands for concessions to resume talks by the end of 2019.
In April, the North Korean leader said he would wait until the end of 2019 for Washington to change its approach to denuclearization talks with Pyongyang. But since then, the north has maintained the status quo, with analysts warning that Mr. Kim could “keep his word.”
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump wished North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a birthday wish, but an adviser to the north’s foreign ministry said Kim’s personal feelings were not enough to bring him back to past diplomacy, NBC reported.
In November, North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.
Under Mr. Kim, the reclusive nation has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, launched its first-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and threatened to fire missiles into the sea near Guam.