US Rejects Invitation to Pyongyang
North Korea said on Sunday the United States had rejected an invitation to send one of its top diplomats to Pyongyang, accusing Washington of trying to shift the blame for the deadlock in denuclearization talks on the North.
"(We) invited Sung Kim to visit Pyongyang as he expressed willingness to meet with his counterpart of the (North) during his visit to Asia this time," North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
"However, the US, in disregard of this, is working hard to shift the blame onto the North, misleading public opinion by creating impression that dialogue and contacts are not realized due to the latter's insincere attitude."
Sung Kim, the US special representative for North Korea, has been meeting with officials of the countries that had been part of the so-called six-party talks in the past week in Tokyo and Beijing, where he said it was up to the North to show it was serious about ending its nuclear program, according to Reuters. Kim said in Beijing on Friday that Washington was "open to engagement, substantive dialogue with North Korea about the issue of denuclearization."
He did not mention a possible trip to Pyongyang or an invitation by North Korea to visit for talks. The US embassy in Seoul did not immediately have comment.
In Washington, the state department denied the United States and North Korea had planned for a meeting.
North Korea has called for the resumption of the talks, but the US and South Korea have said Pyongyang must first show it was serious about ending its nuclear program. Pyongyang has said it was willing to suspend nuclear testing if the United States halted annual joint military drills with South Korea. Washington and Seoul rejected the proposal saying the drills were for defensive purposes.