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North Korea to Keep Nuclear Weapons if US Maintains Sanctions

Friday 10 August 2018
North Korea to Keep Nuclear Weapons if US Maintains Sanctions

Alwaght- North Korea's Foreign Ministry stated Thursday that "one cannot expect any progress in the implementation" of Pyongyang's denuclearization agreement with the US if Washington maintains its emphasis on sanctions.

The country took steps such as dismantling its nuclear test site even before the unprecedented North Korea-US summit on June 12, but the two sides have still failed to decide any timeline for Pyongyang to give up its existing nukes.

Earlier in the day, the North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper insisted the first step towards peace should be formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War, but Washington has maintained that Pyongyang must denuclearize before securing either a peace treaty or sanctions relief.

North Korea then released a statement following up on Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho's criticism of the US last weekend for not carrying out simultaneous measures after Pyongyang also allowed the US to pick up war remains last month -- even though Washington did suspend joint military drills with South Korea this summer.

The ministry threatened to hold back on denuclearization "as long as the US denies even the basic decorum for its dialogue partner and clings to the outdated acting script which the previous administrations have all tried and failed," according to a spokesperson quoted by the North's state-run KCNA news agency.

However, the statement offered the US a way forward if it responds sincerely "even at this belated time".

South Korea has viewed the diplomatic rapprochement with North Korea this year as a political coup, and is keen to keep progress towards denuclearisation on track.

Seoul said yesterday that officials from the North and South would meet on Monday to plan for a third summit between Kim and Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president.

South Korea's unification ministry did not elaborate on the location of the summit, although Mr Moon had previously agreed to visit Kim in Pyongyang during the autumn.

 

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US North Korea Denuclearization Sanctions Summit Seoul Pyongyang

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