N. Korea urges US shift on denuclearisation
SEOUL: North Korea yesterday warned the incoming Donald Trump administration will have to acknowledge it as a nuclear state, as the South said the mogul had pledged to protect it.
The US maintains it cannot accept North Korea as a nuclear power, despite it conducting five nuclear tests and has pushed harsh international sanctions against the regime.
“If there is anything the Obama administration has done... it has put the security of the US mainland in the greatest danger,” said an editorial carried by Pyongyang’s ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.
“It has burdened the new administration with the difficulty of facing the Juche nuclear state,” it said, referring to the North Korean ideology usually translated as “self-reliance”.
The editorial, which did not mention Trump by name, follows growing calls for the US to change tack on North Korea, with US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently labelling attempts to denuclearise it a lost cause.
Trump has not laid out a clear direction for his policy on North Korea but has indicated that he would be open to talks with Kim Jong-Un.
Trump caused consternation during his campaign when he threatened to withdraw troops unless Seoul paid more for their upkeep, and suggested South Korea and Japan develop nuclear weapons to counter the North’s threats.
But in a phone call with South Korean leader Park Geun-Hye yesterday, Trump vowed that US commitment on protecting its ally against the North “will not waver” and said: “We are going to be with you 100%.”
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to meet Trump next week, officials said yesterday, after phone talks between the two following the billionaire’s election win. – AFP