North Korea chides U.S. for pressing sanctions

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 10, 2018

North Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday it had stopped testing missiles, conducted nuclear tests and dismantled "the nuclear test ground", yet the United States still insisted on "denuclearization first".

Pyongyang's state media has highlighted it has made goodwill gestures, such as a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korea warned Thursday that there could be no progress in its denuclearization as it accused some senior USA officials of trying to strengthen global sanctions on Pyongyang.

Yet Washington was still insisting on "denuclearization first" and had "responded to our expectation by inciting worldwide sanctions and pressure" it said. "What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearization".

"As long as the U.S. denies even the basic decorum for its dialogue partner and clings to the outdated acting script which the previous administrations have all tried and failed, one can not expect any progress in the implementation of the DPRK-U.S. joint statement including the denuclearization", the ministry said.

The rival Koreas will meet Monday for high-level talks meant to prepare for a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South Korea said, the third such meetings between the leaders in recent months. "The idea that we're going to relax the sanctions just on North Korea's say-so, I think, is something that just isn't under consideration", he said.

The United States was "attempting to invent a pretext for increased sanctions against the DPRK".

The White House and State Department did not immediately return requests for comment.

On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the United States was "not willing to wait for too long" for North Korea to take steps toward denuclearising.

"It's just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize", Bolton said.

US officials familiar with the talks, however, told Reuters that North Korea had yet to agree to a timeline for eliminating its nuclear arsenal or to disclose its size, which USA estimates have put at between 30 and 60 warheads.

Although the South's unification ministry did not elaborate on where the summit would take place, Moon had previously agreed to visit Kim in Pyongyang during the autumn after the two men held a historic meeting in April.

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