In this June 30, 2019, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump prepare to shake hands at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, North Korea’s supreme decision-making institution has lashed out at planned U.S.-South Korean drills and warned that the United States will face “bigger threat and harsh suffering” if it ignores North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s end-of-year deadline to salvage the nuclear diplomacy.
Susan Walsh—AP
By Associated Press
November 20, 2019

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. official in charge of talks with North Korea says time is running short to achieve a deal, but not because of the end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un.

U.S. envoy Stephen Biegun tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that any crisis or other distraction could derail talks.

Biegun says the “window is still open” but the North Koreans “need to seize the moment.” The envoy says Kim needs to grant more authority to his negotiating team.

Biegun says the U.S. has seen no “concrete evidence” that North Korea intends to denuclearize.

Negotiations faltered after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of the North’s nuclear capabilities.

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