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(LEAD) N. Korea says open to talks with U.S. anytime

07:55 May 25, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS more info from 3rd para)

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- A top North Korean official said Friday his country is still willing to talk with the U.S., responding to President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to pull out of his planned summit with the North's leader.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan issued a statement carried by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). It came hours after Trump announced the surprise decision to withdraw from his summit with Kim Jong-un set for June 12.

"We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format," he said in the statement.

Kim said that the U.S.' unilateral decision to cancel the upcoming talks demonstrates how serious the animosity between the North and the U.S. remains, which he said underlines the urgent need of a summit between the leaders of the two countries.

"Our commitment to doing our best for the sake of peace and stability for the world and the Korean Peninsula remains unchanged, and we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the U.S.," he said.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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