No unilateral disarmament while US prevents trust building with coercive methods – North Korea
Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula should be implemented in a “step-by-step” manner and accompanied by trust-building measures between Pyongyang and Washington, North Korean Foreign Minister told UNGA.
“The reason behind the current deadlock is that the US is relying on the coercive methods that prevent trust building,” Ri Yong-ho said during his speech at the UN General Assembly, referring to the nuclear disarmament of the Korean peninsula.
The “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula was part of the joint statement signed by its leader, Kim Jong-un, and the US President Donald Trump following their meeting in Singapore in June. Ri he said that Pyongyang is “fully committed” to implementing the document that doesn’t set any deadline for nuclear disarmament.
Implementation of the Trump-Kim joint statement is a shared responsibility of both North Korea and the US, Ri Yong-ho said, adding that it is also “in the best interests” of Washington. “If it becomes the victim of the US internal politics, the primary victim will be the US itself,” the diplomat warned.
The process has effectively become hostage of the US internal politics, the North Korean top diplomat said. Some political forces in Washington have made “slandering” of Pyongyang its “daily business” while in fact competing with their rivals in the US political circles, he explained.
The two nations should first “bring down the barrier of mistrust that existed for decades,” the North Korean top diplomat said, adding that the lack of trust was the primary reason behind the fact that all previous attempts to normalize relations between Pyongyang and Washington as well as to ease tensions around the Korean peninsula have failed so far.
Ri said that his government sees no signs of cooperation from the US. With no confidence building, there is “no way we will unilaterally disarm first,” he added.
This week was marked by mixed signals Washington sent to Pyongyang. On Monday, Trump said that the relations between the two nations are “very good,” adding that he might have a second meeting with Kim “quite soon.” He also said that the US is in no rush when it comes to Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament.
However, on Thursday, the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said that North Korean sanctions must “continue vigorously,” while threatening Pyongyang with “ever-increasing isolation and pressure.”
The mixed messages are for domestic political consumption, according to Virginia State Senator Richard Black, who says that the White House is probably glad that Pyongyang is not firing missiles.
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