The White House warned on Sunday that they would consider a “breach of confidence” and very “disappointing” a possible decision by North Korea to suspend the moratorium on weapons tests that it has held for 15 months, a step that Pyongyang is considering. “I think the resumption of missile tests is something that would be considered a kind of violation, or a kind of breach of confidence,” White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told television network Fox News.
“I think there was an understanding that there was no reason for that to continue as long as we had conversations, and the talks continue,” he added.
Mulvaney, who was part of the US delegation during the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, acknowledged that “there was no agreement” at that meeting, held in Hanoi in February, but thought that it was not “reasonable” to think that the problem could be solved so quickly.
“The talks can and should continue, I foresee that the president and the leader (North Korean) will sit together at some point in the future, but if they take the tests again, we would see that as a truly disappointing event,” he concluded.
Last Friday, North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, Choe Son-Hui, said the regime is considering breaking the dialogue with the US, which it blamed for the failure of the recent summit in Vietnam, and pointed out that Pyongyang could suspend the moratorium on weapons tests.
During a meeting in Pyongyang with diplomats open to some media, Choe said that his country has “no intention of giving in to US demands (raised in Hanoi) in any way” and is not willing “to engage in such negotiations ”
Choe also affirmed that the decision to end the moratorium on weapons tests rests with Kim, and that Kim will take a decision soon, when asked about the images showing activity in the North Korean missile installations and on a base of launch of satellites.
The United States attributed the failure of the summit in Hanoi to the presumed North Korean demand that all US sanctions be lifted in exchange for advances in denuclearization, while Pyongyang contradicted Trump and said he had only requested partial relief.