North Korea says US is 'misleading the public' on status of denuclearization talks


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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

North Korea on Sunday accused the US of "misleading" the public on the status of nuclear talks a day after discussions between the two sides in Stockholm broke down within just hours following an eight-month stalemate.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry said the Trump administration was "misleading the public opinion by touting 'good discussions,'" The Washington Post reported, as it simultaneously warned that if the US does not change its approach by the end of the year then relations between the two countries "may immediately come to an end."

"We have no intention to hold such sickening negotiations as what happened this time before the US takes a substantial step," a North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying in a state news report cited by The Wall Street Journal.

The talks in Stockholm fell apart after roughly eight and a half hours. Following the discussions, the two sides offered conflicting reports on the nature of the dialogue.

North Korea's top nuclear envoy, Kim Myong Gil, on Saturday said the meeting "failed to live up to our expectations and broke down."

Meanwhile, the State Department in a statement said comments from the North Korean delegation "do not reflect the content or the spirit of today's 8 1/2 hour discussion." The statement said the US "brought creative ideas and had good discussions" with its North Korean counterparts.

North Korea evidently disagrees fervently, and just days after it tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile. The test, which took place on Wednesday, was the most provocative missile test conducted by Pyongyang since the denuclearization talks with the US began.

Amid the denuclearization talks, Trump has taken to boasting about his strong relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, widely considered one of the most repressive rulers in the world. But their publicly amicable relationship has done little to expedite the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, nor have any of their three meetings.

The US has said it's open to returning to talks in two weeks, but North Korea is pushing against resuming discussions as its state news accuses the US of "spreading a completely ungrounded story."

This is not the first time North Korea has pushed against the Trump administration's summary of talks between the two countries — they did so after Trump's second summit with Kim in Vietnam fell apart earlier this year. But it's yet another bump in the road for the Trump administration in the prolonged discussions with the North Koreans on its nuclear program and aggressive activities.

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