North Korea rethinks talks with US, missile launch moratorium: official

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/15 13:53:40

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) and US President Donald Trump sit together at the second North Korea-US summit in the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel, Hanoi on February 28. Photo: AFP



North Korea is considering whether to continue talks with the US and maintain a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests given the US has not changed its attitude, said a North Korean official. 

At a press conference on Friday, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said that North Korea hasn't conducted nuclear tests and launched missiles in 15 months, so part of sanctions on the country should be lifted. However, the US said nothing about it but has requested denuclearization repeatedly. 

The US attitude is complicating the situation and North Korea believes it is unnecessary to have a similar dialogue unless the US changes its attitude. North Korea is also considering if it is still necessary to suspend missile launches and nuclear tests, said Choe.

The comments came after the second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, which failed to reach an agreement last month. 

Choe said that the US showed no sincerity toward improving the bilateral relationship and carrying out their agreement in Singapore, where the two leaders first met in June 2018.

Kim overcame great difficulty to participate in the Hanoi meeting, said Choe. Many people in the North Korean army believe the country should not abandon nuclear weapons. However, Kim demonstrated a firm determination to carry out the joint statement they reached in Singapore, Choe noted.

Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday that after the Hanoi summit, North Korea and the US are now at a stage where the two sides are observing each other's attitudes. 

"At this stage, the US should sit on the negotiating table with North Korea as soon as possible in order to maintain the peaceful situation. If the two sides return to the confrontation stage, the Korean Peninsula will be in a dangerous state," Lü said. 

Lü added that any move to escalate the Korean Peninsula issue should be opposed and what North Korea said has its reason.

"North Korea has taken some practical steps toward denuclearization. So its appeal to lift some sanctions is reasonable and the US needs to respond to it," he said. 



Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC,WORLD FOCUS

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