FM Kang sees slim chance of U.S.-N.K. talks before U.S. election

SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) — Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Friday chances are slim of progress in stalled nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea before the U.S. presidential election in November.

Kang made the remarks during a meeting with South Korean correspondents in Hanoi after talks with her Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh.

“Chances are small that something will happen between North Korea and the United States before the U.S. election,” she said when asked about the possibility of a dialogue between the two sides.

“North Korea appears to focus on domestic issues, making efforts to recover from flood damages and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

The minister said though South Korea has offered to hold talks with the North and send humanitarian aid, and the U.S. is indicating that it is ready for dialogue with Pyongyang, there are no behind-the-scenes talks underway, as far as she knows.

Nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled since the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in Hanoi in February last year. as they differed over the extent of Pyongyang’s denuclearization steps and Washington’s compensation in return.