N. Korea says US 'throwing cold water' on denuclearization progress


Published : Aug 10, 2018 - 10:50
Updated : Aug 10, 2018 - 13:22

North Korea on Thursday accused the United States of acting in bad faith, saying Washington's push for full sanctions pressure against Pyongyang would stall progress on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

During landmark talks with US President Donald Trump in June, the North's leader Kim Jong-un signed up to a vague commitment to denuclearization, far from the longstanding American demand for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of Pyongyang's atomic arsenal.

Trump has touted the summit with Kim in Singapore as a historic breakthrough, but both sides have since complained of stalling progress.

In a statement, the North Korean foreign ministry accused the US of "insulting the dialogue partner and throwing cold water over our sincere efforts for building confidence which can be seen as a precondition for implementing" the agreement between Trump and Kim.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, right, receives an envelope from US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim before the start of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Singapore, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (AP-Yonhap)

The ministry added that expecting "any result" to negotiations in this context was "indeed a foolish act that amounts to waiting to see a boiled egg hatch out."

The statement comes days after the US stressed the need to keep up pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons programme.

The foreign ministry, which had earlier slammed Washington's "alarming" impatience for denuclearization, accused the US of clinging to an "outdated acting script." 

"As long as the US denies even the basic decorum for its dialogue partner... one cannot expect any progress in the implementation of the DPRK-US joint statement including the denuclearization," said Pyongyang's foreign ministry, using the initials of the country's official name, warning regional security could suffer.

Since the June meeting, Pyongyang has announced measures including halting missile and nuclear tests.

But a recent UN report showed Pyongyang was continuing with its nuclear and missile programmes and evading sanctions through ship-to-ship oil transfers.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has also weighed in on the issue, saying Sunday that nobody in Trump's administration is "starry-eyed" about the prospect "of North Korea actually denuclearizing." (AFP)

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