The Clinton administration on Wednesday faced the consequences of its decision to grant asylum to two North Korean diplomats and their families, as North Korea angrily withdrew from long-scheduled negotiations over its exports of missiles. The negotiations, which were to have begun in New York City on Wednesday morning, were abruptly canceled late Tuesday night and are not likely to be rescheduled for a few weeks, if then.
The defections also appeared to call into question separate talks between North Korea, South Korea, the United States, and China aimed at negotiating a formal end to the Korean War. Those talks are scheduled to resume in New York on September 15.
The White House expressed disappointment, saying the government in Pyongyang had specifically cited the defections. A spokesman, Barry Toiv, said the administration nonetheless hoped North Korea would remain committed to negotiations, which the United States has pursued in recent years to entice North Korea out of its isolation.