Korea FM: Peace possible, but only if US ends hostility

DPRK Says Will Not Denuclearize Before More Trust in US

North Korea's foreign minister said Saturday there was "no way" his country would unilaterally disarm without the lifting of worldwide sanctions and building of trust with the United States.

Mr Park said tighter border controls between North Korea and China and higher rates charged by people smugglers were key factors.

"Without any trust in the USA there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances, there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first", Ri said.

Last August, after USA media reported Pyongyang had successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit into a missile, Trump warned Pyongyang not to threaten the United States or it would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

However, earlier this month South Korean leader Moon Jae-in completed a high-profile, three-day visit to Pyongyang - the first by a Southern leader to the North's capital in a decade.

"The US insists on the "denuclearization-first" and increases the level of pressure by sanctions to achieve their goal in a coercive manner, and even objecting to the 'declaration of the end of war, '" Ri said.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met at a landmark summit in June, which saw Mr Kim pledge to work towards nuclear disarmament.

This past Tuesday, Trump thanked Kim for his "courage" at the UN General Assembly. Pyongyang demands the removal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in the South to deter North Korean military adventurism.

Pompeo said some of those sanctions have been violated, including through ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum to North Korea and continued hiring of North Korean laborers overseas. Post-summit nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang were rocky and quickly settled into a stalemate.

Nevertheless, Trump cheered his summit, claiming that North Korea "no longer" posed a nuclear threat. "We are well into a diplomatic process, and we hope - indeed, we want - to see this through to a successful end".

Trump also joked about the criticism he would get from the news media for making a comment some would consider "unpresidential" and for being so positive about the North Korean leader.

The minister also said sanctions against his government only deepen the mistrust.

However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN Security Council on Thursday that "enforcement of Security Council sanctions must continue vigorously and without fail until we realise the fully, final, verified denuclearisation".

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