North Korea says it won’t de­nu­cle­arize un­less US re­moves threat

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page -

NORTH Korea said Thurs­day it will never uni­lat­er­ally give up its nu­clear weapons un­less the United States re­moves its nu­clear threat first, a state­ment that raises fur­ther doubts on whether leader Kim Jong Un will ever re­lin­quish an arse­nal he may see as his great­est guar­an­tee of sur­vival.

The state­ment car­ried by the of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency came amid a dead­lock in nu­clear ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the United States and North Korea over the se­quenc­ing of the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion process and re­moval of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

Kim and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump met June 12 in Sin­ga­pore where they is­sued a vague goal for the “com­plete de­nu­cle­ariza­tion” of the Korean Penin­sula without de­scrib­ing when and how it would oc­cur.

But North Korea for decades has been push­ing a con­cept of de­nu­cle­ariza­tion that bears no re­sem­blance to the Amer­i­can def­i­ni­tion, vow­ing to pur­sue nu­clear de­vel­op­ment un­til the United States re­moves its troops and the nu­clear um­brella de­fend­ing South Korea and Ja­pan. In Thurs­day’s state­ment, the North re­it­er­ated its tra­di­tional stance on de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and ac­cused Wash­ing­ton of mis­lead­ing what had been agreed on in Sin­ga­pore.

“The United States must now rec­og­nize the ac­cu­rate mean­ing of the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula, and es­pe­cially, must study ge­og­ra­phy the right way,” the state­ment said.

“When we talk about the Korean Penin­sula, it in­cludes the ter­ri­tory of our repub­lic and also the en­tire re­gion of (South Korea) where the United States has placed its in­va­sive force, in­clud­ing nu­clear weapons. When we talk about the com­plete de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula, it means the re­moval of all sources of nu­clear threat, not only from the South and North but also from ar­eas neigh­bor­ing the Korean Penin­sula,” the state­ment said.

The US re­moved its tac­ti­cal nu­clear weapons from South Korea in the 1990s.

The nu­clear ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Pyongyang stalled since the Trump-kim meet­ing.

The United States wants North Korea to pro­vide a de­tailed ac­count of nu­clear and mis­sile fa­cil­i­ties that would be in­spected and dis­man­tled un­der a po­ten­tial deal, while the North is in­sist­ing that sanc­tions be lifted first.

The North Korean state­ment came a day after Stephen Biegun, the Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion’s spe­cial en­voy on North Korea, told re­porters in South Korea that Wash­ing­ton was re­view­ing eas­ing travel re­stric­tions on North Korea to fa­cil­i­tate hu­man­i­tar­ian ship­ments to help re­solve the im­passe in nu­clear ne­go­ti­a­tions.

– AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.