Pyongyang maintains future of negotiations depends on the US

The chief Northern negotiator releases an interview on his return from Sweden. The diplomat states that Washington failed to present a new proposal: skepticism about new talks soon. North Korean fishing boat collides with the Japanese coast guard: 10 missing.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korea declared this morning that it is up to the United States to determine whether the two countries will hold further talks on denuclearization, after the end of the first negotiations between the parties in seven months.

Pyongyang chief negotiator Kim Myong-gil (photo), released these statements in Beijing on his return from Sweden where he met with his American counterpart, Stephen Biegun. Kim warned that a "terrible" incident could occur if the negotiations did not end positively.

Asked whether the two sides could meet again "within two weeks" - as suggested by the United States in the wake of the Stockholm meeting - Kim expressed skepticism. The chief negotiator said that Washington failed to present a new proposal and that it does not believe in new talks in such a short time.

The day before yesterday the US had declared that in the Swedish capital the two sides held "good" discussions, accepting Sweden's invitation to return in two weeks to continue the negotiations.

The following day, an unidentified spokesman for the Northern Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that Pyongyang has no will to talk to the United States again; at least until Washington adopts "practical measures for the complete and irreversible withdrawal of a hostile policy".

Meanwhile, Pyongyang is likely to open up a new diplomatic front: according to Japanese media reports, 10 North Korean fishermen are missing after their vessel collided with a Japanese coastguard boat. The collision occurred around 9 am in waters around 350 kilometers from the Noto peninsula, in Ishikawa prefecture. The fishing boat sank and the 20 crew members ended up in the sea. The rescuers brought half of them to safety.