SEOUL, March 1 (UPI) — Washington should make the right move if it wants dialogue with Pyongyang, a pro-North Korea newspaper based in Japan said.
The Chosun Sinbo on Thursday addressed speculations regarding the possibility of dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, following the visit of North Korean official Kim Yong-chol to South Korea.
Kim told Seoul officials earlier this week that “the door for dialogue with the U.S. is open.”
Washington has maintained that talks would be possible but only under the right conditions, reiterating its maximum pressure policy.
The North Korean daily said it agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump that certain conditions were needed but retorted it is Washington that should “create such conditions.”
It called on the Trump administration to give up its “reckless hostile policy or it won’t be given a dialogue opportunity.”
The paper also criticized the U.S. for creating the impression the North was “begging for talks” and giving into pressure and sanctions imposed on the regime.
“North Korea has never begged the United States for talks and will do no such thing in the future,” the article stated.
Seoul officials said it may be “difficult to step forward immediately” to hold talks between Washington and Pyongyang, Yonhap reported.
In a closed door briefing on Wednesday, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon reportedly said the high-level North Korean delegation that visited the South earlier this week, led by Kim Yong-chol, expressed its “basic position” on joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S.
North Korea sees the joint military drills as a rehearsal for invasion and has continuously demanded they be halted.
It has also used the drills as a pretext for launching provocations.
Under South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s request, Seoul and Washington postponed the annual springtime drills until the end of the Pyeongchang Winter Games, as a means to defuse tensions with the North during the sporting event.
However, observers say resuming the exercises is likely to irk the North, which may compromise the possibility of U.S-North Korea talks.