Tensions between the US and North Korea seem to be escalating, Reuters reported on Saturday November 9th, as a senior diplomat from Pyongyang has played down any advance being made with mutual relations with Washington, saying the window of opportunity for progress in dialogue with the US was getting smaller.
The high ranking diplomat in North Korea, Cho Choi Su, said that his country expected the US to take more steps to normalise relations by the end of the year.
Cho is director of the North American affairs department for the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
“We’ve given the United States quite a lot of time and we’re waiting for an answer by the end of this year,” Cho said at an international conference on nuclear nonproliferation in Moscow.
He warned that if Washington “does not take steps to meet us, does not lessen the level of animosity, this will be a big mistake.’’
The North Korean diplomat described the US sanctions on his country as an unacceptable insult and that they must be lifted.
Washington did not comment immediately on Cho's remarks, as it is looking forward to resuming talks with Pyongyang, but a State Department spokeswoman said it had no meetings to announce.
These remarks came just 24 hours after another North Korean official, Kwon Jong Gun, a roving ambassador for the North, has fiercely criticised the planned US-South Korean military drills.
"The joint military drills between the US and South Korea would amount to throwing a wet blanket over the spark of nuclear negotiations. The nuclear talks became now on the verge of extinction", added the North Korean official.