North Korea said it no longer wants to engage in talks with the U.S. as any dialogue would be useless. The nation's foreign minister said Thursday that any negotiations would "get us nowhere."
Earlier in the week, the U.S.'s top envoy in charge of North Korea, Sung Kim, visited South Korea to talk with officials to discuss ways of restarting diplomacy with its reclusive neighbor. The visit was slammed by North Korean leaders and Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, who said the U.S. had the "wrong" expectations for dialogue.
North Korea's foreign minister and the chairperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, Ri Son Gwon, echoed the younger Kim's sentiments.
"We are not even considering the possibility of any contact with the U.S., let alone having it, which would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time," Ri was quoted as saying by the state-run KCNA news agency.
After President Joe Biden took over, the U.S. has adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward North Korea. This is a stark contrast to the approach of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who held high-profile meetings with the nation's Supreme Leader. Trump and Kim never reached an agreement for North Korea's denuclearization.
The two countries are currently in disagreement on the terms of North Korea's denuclearization. North Korea has demanded the removal of international sanctions imposed on it, while the U.S. wants assurances that the nuclear-armed state would keep its commitments if they are lifted.
Last week, Kim said the nation is prepared for both dialogue and confrontation with the U.S. - emphasizing the latter as the more likely outcome. Earlier in the week, Kim's sister mocked comments made by U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan - particularly his comments about how her brother's remarks were a positive signal that the impoverished nation was becoming more open to talks.
South Korean intelligence officials said North Korea is currently tackling a food shortage, which may lead to a larger humanitarian crisis. In an address to his people earlier in the month, Kim urged the public to brace for another "Arduous March" - a reference to the massive famine that hit the nation in the 1990s.