North Korea rejected an offer from the “ignorant and incompetent” South Korean government to act as mediator between the regime and the United States and said further talks with Seoul were off until its demands are met, according to a report on Thursday.
Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country, blasted South Korea’s participation in military operations with the US and for allowing “human scum” to speak at its National Assembly without elaborating on who he was referring to, Reuters reported, citing a statement from state-run media in North Korea.
“On this opportunity, the present south Korean authorities have been clearly proven to be an ignorant and incompetent group devoid of the elementary sense of the present situation,” the statement said.
“Unless the serious situation which led to the suspension of the north-south high-level talks is settled, it will never be easy to sit face to face again with the present regime of south Korea,” it continued.
North Korean President Kim Jong Un abruptly threatened to bow out of a historic summit planned between him and President Trump in Singapore on June 12 if the US continues to demand the regime get rid of its nuclear weapons.
In response, a South Korean government official said it would be willing to play “the role of mediator” between the two countries.
The South Korean foreign minister told lawmakers that North Korea and the US are at odds on how to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula.
“It is true that there are differences of opinion between the North and the United States on methods to accomplish denuclearisation,” Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Trump, who is expected to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on May 22, said “we’ll have to see” if the meeting with Kim will still happen.
“We have seen anything. We haven’t heard anything. We’ll have to see what happens,” he said Wednesday during a White House meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Moon’s office said they intend to “s ufficiently convey (to the US) what we’ve discerned about North Korea’s position and attitude … and sufficiently convey the United States’ position to North Korea” in an effort to bridge the gap.