By Nicole Darrah
Published September 09, 2019
Choe Son-hui, the country's foreign vice minister, said North Korea is "willing to comprehensively talk about all the issues we have discussed until now with the United States at an agreed time and place in late September."
The news, carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, was also reported by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
The KCNA statement may have been a response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday the U.S. "was hopeful that in the coming days or perhaps weeks we'll be back at the negotiating table with them" to discuss denuclearization.
The collegial comments from both sides seem to indicate tempers have cooled since Choe last month blasted remarks from Pompeo describing North Korea behavior as "rogue." Choe said Pompeo's words were "thoughtless" and warned that Pyongyang's hopes for further talks with Washington were fading. She said his comments increased the North Korean people's animosity toward Americans and made it harder for working-level nuclear dialogue between the countries to resume.
"Our expectations of dialogue with the U.S. are gradually disappearing and we are being pushed to re-examine all the measures we have taken so far," Choe said in the statement, adding: "The U.S. had better not put any longer our patience to the test with such remarks irritating us if it doesn't want to have bitter regrets afterward."
Nuclear negotiations have been at a standstill since a February summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam collapsed after the U.S. side rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of the Hermit Kingdom's nuclear capabilities.
Since the breakdown in Hanoi, North Korea has repeatedly demanded that Washington remove Pompeo from the nuclear negotiations, accusing him of maintaining a hard-line stance on sanctions and distorting Pyongyang's statements, while avoiding direct criticism of Trump.
Trump and Kim met again at the inter-Korean border in June and agreed to resume working-level talks, but there has been no known meeting between the countries since then.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.