December 09, 2018

facebook twitter linkedin tumblr google pinterest

‘No Way’ North Korea Will Denuclearize Without U.S. Concessions

‘No Way’ North Korea Will Denuclearize Without U.S. Concessions
Spread the love


North Korea’s foreign minister said on Saturday that there was “no way we will denuclearize” without getting so-called trust-building concessions from the United States, an assertion that reflected a continuing divide over efforts to ease nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“Without any trust in the United States, there will be no confidence in our national security, and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” the North Korean minister, Ri Yong-ho, told the United Nations General Assembly.

Even so, hours later at a rally, President Trump praised the two countries’ improved relations, to the point of saying he and the North Korean leader “fell in love.”

“I was really being tough, and so was he,” Mr. Trump said Saturday of Kim Jong-un. “And we would go back and forth.” He added, to laughter from the crowd in Wheeling, W.Va.: “And then we fell in love, O.K.? No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”

The United States has called for North Korea to surrender all of its nuclear capabilities before other issues can be negotiated. The North insists it needs reciprocal concessions from the United States, including the lifting of crippling economic sanctions and an official declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War has ended.

Speaking to world leaders who had gathered for the General Assembly, Mr. Ri expressed a “firm determination to turn the Korean Peninsula into a land of peace” but said the American-backed sanctions were a “hostile policy.”

The Trump administration has been trying to revive nuclear talks with Mr. Kim. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Mr. Ri on Wednesday to discuss a potential second summit meeting between the American and North Korean leaders to build on their first one in Singapore in June.

“We’re going to have another meeting,” Mr. Trump said at the rally. “Chairman Kim would like to have another meeting.”

Next month, Mr. Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, to try to set the stage. In remarks to reporters, Mr. Pompeo described his discussions with Mr. Ri as “very positive.” But throughout his time at the United Nations this past week, Mr. Pompeo emphasized that continued sanctions would be part of the Americans’ approach.

“We are well into a diplomatic process, and we hope — indeed, we want — to see this through to a successful end,” Mr. Pompeo said this past week. “I want to reiterate that the future can be very bright for North Korea if it makes good on its commitment to final, fully verified denuclearization.”

The question of declaring an official end to the Korean War has exposed a potential gap between Seoul and Washington.

After meeting with Mr. Kim in North Korea this month, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea urged the United States to declare an end to the war as an incentive for the North to denuclearize. Washington has been hesitant to sign an official peace accord before Pyongyang denuclearizes.

On Saturday, Mr. Ri also took aim at the United Nations Security Council, which has voted in favor of sanctions against North Korea since 2006 in an attempt to deter the country’s nuclear program. He said the Council was acting only in the interest of the United States, a “very concerning stand.”

Mr. Ri said his country had already undertaken “significant good-will measures” to signal a readiness to talk peace. They included dismantling a nuclear test site and halting nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, although critics have questioned the practical effect and the extent of those steps.

“We have far more reasons to distrust the United States,” Mr. Ri said. “The United States possessed nuclear weapons earlier than we did, and the U.S. is the only country that used them in real war.”



Source link

More from my site

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply