North Korea proposes talks with United States


Kim Jong Un inspects North Korean military installations near South Korea's Taeyonphyong Island.



North Korea proposed high-level talks with the United States on Sunday, just days after calling off discussions with rival South Korea.

Kim Jong-Un's National Defense Commission issued a statement read on state television calling for talks to ease tensions between the countries and discuss the treaty that ended the Korean War.

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It also called on the US to end all sanctions against the hermit country and said its nuclear program would "go on and on without vacillation" unless the US removes all nuclear assets from the area.

The White House did not immediately respond to the news.

But on Friday, Glyn Davies, the US envoy for North Korea policy, said Washington will never accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state.

Analysts in Seoul said it's unlikely Washington will react positively.

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“The North Koreans know darn well this offer is unacceptable,” Dan Pinkston, a North Korea expert at the International Crisis Group, told the Washington Post. “It’s so self-serving. When the Americans reject it, they’ll be able to say, ‘Look how hostile the world is, they won’t even recognize us as a sovereign state. So of course we have to have our nuclear deterrent.’”

The proposal follows months of acrimony after North Korea launched a long-range rocket in December and a nuclear test in February, prompting tighter sanctions from the US and UN.

Tensions eased in May and June, and Pyongyang has made overtures in recent weeks to re-establish dialogue between the US and South Korea.