North Korea: Trump tries to undermine peace with sanctions

Cheryl Sanders
July 6, 2019

North Korea has accused Washington of being "hell-bent on hostile acts", days after US President Donald Trump and regime leader Kim Jong-un held a historic meeting and agreed to resume nuclear talks.

It also said it was responding to a joint letter despatched by the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom to all UN member states that known as for further sanctions on North Korea.

A North Korean source told Radio Free Asia: 'The authorities propagandise that North Korea is the most powerful country in the world and Kim Jong-un is leading the world with his outstanding ability and courage, so why is he hurrying to meet President Trump in Panmunjom?

"It is quite ridiculous for the United States to continue to behave obsessed with sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK, considering sanctions as a panacea for all the problems", the statement said.

While Mr Trump has met Mr Kim twice before at summits in Singapore and Hanoi, no USA president had ever sat down with a North Korean leader at the DMZ.

At the time of the talks on Sunday, U.S. officials were unfamiliar with Kim Myong-gil's name, but later conducted an inquiry to look over his background, various sources familiar with the meeting said.

U.S. officials, however, rejected North Korea's offer to dismantle its reactor complex at Yongbyon in exchange for wide-ranging sanctions relief.

The letter urged all United Nations member states to comply with security council sanctions requiring the repatriation of all North Korean workers by December.

"All UN member states will have to care for vigilance in opposition to deliberate attempts by the USA to undermine the tranquil atmosphere that has been created on the Korean Peninsula", it said.

On the face of things, neither side has fundamentally shifted its position, though there are reports that inside the Trump team there are discussions about pursuing a more limited initial objective to freeze Pyongyang's nuclear programme rather than to seek full denuclearisation. Trump wanted to highlight the direct line of communications he had with Kim ahead of his presidential re-election bid next year, while the North Korean leader wanted to maintain the framework of top-level discussions in order to convince the United States to relax the economic sanctions it has in place against North Korea.

The row came as an Australian student released after a week in detention in North Korea said that he was feeling "very good" as he arrived in Beijing.

They both dedicated to the "total denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula, nonetheless without clarifying what that meant.

The surprise meeting in the DMZ that divides North and South Korea brought a promise to resume nuclear talks after months of angry exchanges, but critics dismissed it as an act of political theatre.

Nonetheless those talks ended with no deal, as they failed to agree on the toddle at which sanctions must peaceful be eased.

Other reports by iNewsToday