Friday, 23 August, 2019

North Korea says denuclearisation depends on removal of USA threat

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons programme in this undated N. Korea: We Denuclearize When US Removes Its Threat
Patty Aguilar | 22 December, 2018, 15:47

Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for DPRK policy, arrived in Seoul on Wednesday afternoon, and toured the JSA, where soldiers from the two Koreas stand face-to-face, in the DMZ that has left the Korean Peninsula divided since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with armistice. However, none of those moves were verified by outsiders, and most experts say they fall short as material steps toward denuclearization. North Korea is one of the world's poorest nations, and many of its citizens suffer from chronic malnutrition and shortages of medical care.

He acknowledged that the travel ban - which requires American aid workers to obtain special permission from the U.S. State Department before travelling to North Korea - "may have impacted the delivery of humanitarian assistance".

A senior USA envoy on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) policy visited the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Thursday during his four-day trip to South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported citing diplomatic sources.

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 worldwide sanctions.

In the months following President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, both leaders have pursued agendas with differing ideas about denuclearization.

The statement's distinction of not only removing the nuclear threat from North and South Korea but the surrounding regions mirrors the reverse debate in the US on whether the strategy is focused on "denuclearization of North Korea" or "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Whether any significant engineering work can take place will depend on progress in ridding the North of its nuclear arms.

"I think it would be because North Korea sees the agreement at the Singapore summit as one of the agreements - that the objectives, goals that they had - was to improve the U.S".

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Asked about the presence of nuclear weapons on the peninsula, a United States defense official said "we do not discuss the location of nuclear weapons; however, in the early '90s, President George H.W. Bush announced the withdrawal of all naval and land-based tactical nuclear weapons deployed overseas". In Thursday's statement, the North reiterated its traditional stance on denuclearisation and accused Washington of misstating what had been agreed on in Singapore.

Ri is also expected to be briefed on discussions last week between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump, who recently said his next meeting with Kim would likely happen in January or February.

"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".

The piece also urged the U.S.to relax economic sanctions against the regime, saying it would be a show of good faith.

North Korea has asked for several concessions in the past before committing to complete denuclearization, including demanding the us lift sanctions on the country, a request to officially end the Korean War and asking for a second meeting with Trump. Despite this, Trump announced in June that he intends to halt large military exercises conducted alongside South Korea in the region.

In addition to trying to facilitate aid, Biegun also says the United States will be reviewing its current ban on travel into North Korea, which could potentially allow USA aid workers back into the country.

"President Trump has made it clear that sanctions relief will follow denuclearization", department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said at a press briefing.

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