North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said Saturday that his country won't dismantle its nuclear weapons program first without seeing corresponding measures from the United States.
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Ri Yong-ho said his country's commitment to denuclearisation is firm but that it needs to see trust-building measures from the US.
‘Without any trust in the US, there will be no confidence in our national security, and under such circumstances, there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,’ (Yonhap) news agency quoted the Minister as saying.
The North has taken ‘goodwill measures’ by stopping its ballistic missile tests and dismantling a nuclear test site, among other things, Ri said. The US, on the other hand, has increased sanctions on the North and rejected Pyongyang's calls for a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, he claimed.
The Foreign Minister's address comes as Washington and Pyongyang are re-engaging in talks to implement a denuclearisation agreement reached between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at their historic Singapore summit in June.
Kim committed to work toward ‘complete denuclearisation’ of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the US.
‘It is our position that denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula should also be realized along with building a peace regime under the principle of simultaneous actions, step by step, starting with what we can do and giving priority to trust-building,’ he added.
Instead of addressing the North's concerns about the absence of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, Ri said, the US has insisted that denuclearisation come first and increased pressure through sanctions. (QNA)
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