survey
Police detain 25 gay rights activists Next Story
Trump threatens U.S. government shutdown Previous Story
You are here  » Home   » America

North Korea criticises 'alarming' US behaviour

By AFP | Published Sat, August 4th 2018 at 15:13, Updated August 4th 2018 at 15:16 GMT +3
As ministers gathered for a photo at the meeting in the city-state, Pompeo went over to greet his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho. [AFP]

North Korea on Saturday said the US was acting with "alarming" impatience on the issue of denuclearisation, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the need to maintain full sanctions pressure on Pyongyang.

The contrasting comments at a security forum in Singapore came after a new UN report showed Pyongyang was continuing with its nuclear and missile programmes and evading sanctions through ship-to-ship oil transfers.

ALSO READ: Twitter shares fall 17 per cent on drop in users

At historic talks with President Donald Trump in June, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un signed up to a vague commitment to "denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" -- a far cry from long-standing US demands for complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament.

While US officials have publicly been optimistic about the agreement, Pyongyang appears to have made little substantial progress and Washington has become concerned that some UN member states are easing sanctions.

At the ASEAN Regional Forum, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho criticised US impatience on denuclearisation.

"What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old, far from its leader's intention," he said, according to a statement.

Since the June agreement, Pyongyang had taken "goodwill measures", including a halt on nuclear and missile tests and "dismantling a nuclear test ground", he said.

Avoid becoming a victim of Fake News. Subscribe to the Standard Group SMS service by texting 'NEWS' to 22840.

"However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK," he said, using the initials of the North's official name.

"As long as the US does not show in practice its strong will to remove our concerns, there will be no case whereby we will move forward first unilaterally," Ri added.

Earlier at the same forum, Pompeo said he was emphasizing "the importance of maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea" but also said that he was "optimistic" about the prospects for progress when it came to North Korean denuclearisation.

ALSO READ: Trump has dulled our awe of the US, the brand of presidency

At Saturday's meeting, the US delegation also delivered a letter from Trump intended for Kim, by passing it to Ri, said the State Department.

On sanctions, Pompeo singled out Russia after reports suggested Moscow breached sanctions by granting work permits to North Korean workers.

During meetings with other foreign ministers in Singapore, Pompeo said he had called specifically for sanctions to be enforced through halting ship-to-ship oil transfers.

Cutting off oil and fuel to the North would require enforcement primarily by China, which supplies most of North Korea's energy needs, but also by Russia, which delivers some oil to Pyongyang.

Saturday's forum, hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), brings together top diplomats from 26 countries and the European Union for talks on political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific.

RELATED TOPICS:

Would you like to get published on Standard Media websites? You can now email us breaking news, story ideas, human interest articles or interesting videos on: [email protected]

RECOMMENDED