Correction at 10.00 am KST on 09/08/2017: The DPRK Mission to the UN has said that the line by the Foreign Minister, “we will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on negotiating table”, was mistranslated. The mission maintains that DPRK government policy remains the same, and that the withdrawal of the “U.S. hostile policy” against the country could lead to negotiations.
North Korea’s foreign minister on Monday argued that North Korea is now a legitimate nuclear power and that it will never negotiate its arsenal away, in a statement at the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum.
“We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on negotiating table,” Ri Yong Ho said, arguing that his country “would not flinch” from their development “unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the DPRK are fundamentally eliminated.”
“The DPRK is a responsible nuclear power and ICBM state,” he added, saying that two recent tests by North Korea of the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) were “meant to send a stern warning to the U.S.”
Hinting that the DPRK would not negotiate with Seoul on denuclearization, Ri said the nuclear program is “thoroughly a matter between the DPRK and the U.S.”
“I will not take trouble to mention on the Japanese and South Korean authorities who regard kowtowing blindly to the U.S. as their model of existence,” he added.
The DPRK foreign minister also attacked a vote on Saturday by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to expand international sanctions against North Korea.
“… the U.S. rigged up several ‘sanctions resolutions’ against the DPRK at the UN Security Council, thus disguising the issue as one between the DPRK and UN,” he said.
“The DPRK has already made its position clear that it will respond will strong follow-up measures and acts of justice.”
— Jon Viktor Cabuenas (@jvdcabuenas) August 7, 2017
A statement from the DPRK government on Monday also saw Pyongyang promise a “decisive act of justice” in response to the new UNSC measures, which target North Korea’s trade in coal, iron, lead, and seafood, among others.
The new measures also limit the number of overseas laborers the DPRK can send overseas, another key source of foreign currency for Pyongyang.
Accusing the U.S. of violating “our sovereignty and right to survive and develop,” North Korea promised retaliation against Washington DC, as well as nations which supported the new measures.
Ri met his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-hwa on the sidelines of the ASEAN forum on Sunday, during which he told Kang that the Moon Jae-in administration’s proposals for dialogue with Pyongyang “lack sincerity,” an informed source told NK News.
“Kang replied that it is quite evident in the proposal that South Korea’s intentions are very sincere,” the source added.
Featured image: Rodong Sinmun
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