Warn­ing is­sued over U.S. re­fusal to lift sanc­tions

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - WORLD - By Kim Tong-Hyung py­ong jin Kim Tong-Hyung is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

SEOUL — North Korea has warned it could re­vive a state pol­icy aimed at strength­en­ing its nu­clear arse­nal if the United States does not lift eco­nomic sanc­tions against the coun­try.

The state­ment re­leased by the For­eign Min­istry said North Korea could bring back its pol­icy of si­mul­ta­ne­ously ad­vanc­ing its nu­clear force and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment if the United States doesn’t change its stance. The North stopped short of threat­en­ing to aban­don on­go­ing nu­clear ne­go­ti­a­tions with Wash­ing­ton.

Still, it ac­cused Wash­ing­ton of de­rail­ing com­mit­ments made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Pres­i­dent Trump at their June sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore to work to­ward a nu­clear-free Korean Penin­sula. It was the first time the North said it could po­ten­tially re­sume weapons tests and other de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties since Kim sig­naled a new state pol­icy in April.

In an in­ter­view with Fox News on Fri­day, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said he plans to talk this week with his North Korean coun­ter­part, ap­par­ently re­fer­ring to se­nior North Korean of­fi­cial Kim Yong Chol. Pom­peo did not pro­vide the lo­ca­tion and date for the meet­ing, which will likely be fo­cused on per­suad­ing North Korea to take firmer steps to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and set­ting up a sec­ond sum­mit be­tween their lead­ers.

“A lot of work re­mains, but I’m con­fi­dent that we will keep the eco­nomic pres­sure in place un­til such time as Chair­man Kim ful­fills the com­mit­ment he made to Pres­i­dent Trump back in June in Sin­ga­pore,” Pom­peo said.

The North Korean For­eign Min­istry state­ment, re­leased un­der the name of the di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s In­sti­tute for Amer­i­can Stud­ies, said the “im­prove­ment of re­la­tions and sanc­tions is in­com­pat­i­ble.”

“The U.S. thinks that its oft-re­peated ‘sanc­tions and pres­sure’ leads to ‘de­nu­cle­ariza­tion.’ We can­not help laugh­ing at such a fool­ish idea,” it said.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of provoca­tive nu­clear and mis­sile tests last year, Kim shifted to diplo­macy when he met with Trump be­tween three sum­mits with South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, who lob­bied hard to re­vive nu­clear diplo­macy.

How­ever, the North has been play­ing hard­ball since the sum­mits, in­sist­ing that sanc­tions should be lifted be­fore any progress in nu­clear talks, which fu­eled doubts about whether Kim would ever deal away a nu­clear pro­gram he may see as his strong­est guar­an­tee of sur­vival.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.