Talks between North Korea's top negotiator and the United States over Pyongyang's nuclear program hit a wall Saturday in Sweden.
Kim Myong Gil, North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, speaking through an interpreter outside of North Korea's embassy in Sweden, said he walked away from discussions because he said the Washington delegation was inflexible and unprepared.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) KIM MYONG GIL, NORTH KOREA CHIEF NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR, SAYING: "We have already clarified the U.S. side, what kind of calculations is necessary and gave plenty of time.
But still the U.S. comes to the negotiating table empty handed, which shows that they have no intention to solve the issue through dialogue." This was the first formal discussion between the two sides since President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in June and agreed to restart negotiations.
But also comes just days after North Korea, also known as the DPRK, said it had test-fired a new ballistic missile designed for submarine launch.
Pundits say that move was likely an attempt to encourage Washington to move quickly toward a deal and remove economic sanctions, which North Korea is eager to see done away with.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) KIM MYONG GIL, NORTH KOREA CHIEF NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR, SAYING: "The complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is only possible when all the obstacles that threaten our safety and check our development are removed completely without a shadow of doubt." The State Department described his comments as not accurately reflecting "the content or spirit" of talks that lasted nearly nine hours.
But in a hopeful sign, Washington accepted a Swedish invitation to come back to the table for further negotiations with Pyongyang in two weeks.
No word yet on whether North Korea has accepted the same invitation.