A North Korean nuclear envoy returned home on Saturday after a six-day visit to Beijing where she declared that the North has no intention of returning to the negotiating table on its nuclear weapons program.
Choe Son-hui, deputy director for North American affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry and the North's deputy chief nuclear envoy, was seen arriving at the Beijing airport earlier in the day.
Choe made no comments upon her arrival at the airport and entered the departure gate for diplomats.
During her visit to Beijing, North Korea test-launched two Musudan mid-range missiles off its east coast in its fifth and sixth attempts to test the missile. The first exploded in midair, but the second reached an altitude of 1,000 kilometers and flew about 400 kilometers before hitting the East Sea, which is seen as progress.
On Thursday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said that the latest test of what it calls the Hwasong-10 medium-long-range strategic ballistic missile, known as Musudan to the outside world, was successfully carried out, with leader Kim Jong-un in attendance.
Choe told reporters on Thursday that the long-stalled six-party talks would be "meaningless" if North Korea's denuclearization is a precondition for their resumption.
"We built nuclear weapons because of threats from the U.S. Now, I think that we have a delivery vehicle. So, we have no notion of returning to the talks that discuss the denuclearization of North
Korea," Choe said, describing the Musudan missiles as a delivery vehicle for a nuclear warhead.
The North Korean diplomat told a security forum on Wednesday that the six-party talks are "dead," dashing hopes that Pyongyang might change course on its nuclear ambitions.
The talks, involving South Korea, North Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, have been stalled since late 2008. (Yonhap)