North Korea's Foreign Minister 'Not Considering Even the Possibility' of Contact With U.S.

North Korea's foreign minister said the dictatorial nation is "not considering even the possibility of any contact with the U.S." on Wednesday in regards to resuming halted nuclear talks.

Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon applauded North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister's comments made a day earlier on how U.S. expectations of communication would "plunge them into a greater disappointment," the Associated Press reported.

Ri said Kim Yo Jong's statement dismissed the U.S.' "hasty judgment, conjecture and expectation." He also said contact with the U.S. "would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time."

Experts say that North Korea may resume nuclear talks if the U.S. eases its sanctions placed on the country, according to the Associated Press.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon
Chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification Ri Son Gwon speaks during a joint North and South Korean event marking the 11th anniversary of a 2007 inter-Korean summit, at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang on October 5, 2018. Ri, as North Korea's foreign minister, said North Korea is “not considering even the possibility of any contact with the U.S.” Kim Won Jin/AFP via Getty Images

Ri's comments dismiss hopes expressed by U.S. and South Korean officials for a quick resumption of negotiations.

Hope for a restart of the nuclear talks flared briefly after Kim Jong Un instructed officials at a political conference last week to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation — though more for confrontation — with the Biden administration. U.S. National Security adviser Jake Sullivan called Kim's comments an "interesting signal."

Ri's statement was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Seoul have been stalled since the collapse of a meeting between Kim Jong Un and former President Donald Trump in 2019 because of a disagreement over an easing of U.S.-led economic sanctions in exchange for partial denuclearization by North Korea.

While U.S. and South Korean officials expressed optimism over Kim's comment that he expects both dialogue and confrontation, some experts say North Korea has been communicating the same message for months — that it has no intention to return to talks unless the United States offers meaningful concessions.

Sung Kim, President Joe Biden's special representative for North Korea, said Washington was prepared to meet the North "anywhere, anytime without preconditions" as he visited Seoul for discussions with South Korean and Japanese officials over the nuclear standoff. But he stressed that the Biden administration would continue to pressure North Korea with sanctions over its nuclear and missile ambitions.

The trilateral talks followed a four-day North Korean ruling party meeting last week at which Kim Jong Un called for stronger efforts to improve the nation's economy, battered by pandemic border closures and facing worsening food shortages.

North Korean Ri Son Gwon
In this Dec. 26, 2018, file photo, North Korean Ri Son Gwon, center, chairman of the North Korean agency that handles inter-Korean affairs, applauses with South Korean officials during a groundbreaking ceremony at Panmun Station in Kaesong, North Korea. Ri on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, reiterated the North Korea's stance that it has no immediate intention to resume stalled nuclear talks with the United States, dismissing hopes expressed by U.S. and South Korean officials for a quick resumption of negotiations. Uncredited/Korea Pool/Newsis via AP