North Korea says peace treaty no bargaining chip for denuclearisation

Agence France-Presse
North Korea says peace treaty no bargaining chip for denuclearisation
This undated picture and released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on September 29, 2018 shows North Korea leader Kim Jong-un attending a photo session with teachers and researchers of Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Tuesday ruled out dismantling its nuclear arsenal in exchange for the US declaring an end to the Korean War, saying a peace treaty should "never be a bargaining chip."

The North has for decades demanded that the US formally declare the end of the 1950-53 conflict that was halted only with an armistice, saying an official end to the war would ease tensions on the flashpoint peninsula.

At a summit with the South's President Moon Jae-in last month, the North's leader Kim Jong Un offered to shut down its main Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington takes "corresponding measures".

Kim did not elaborate on what those measure might be, but state news agency KCNA said in a commentary that some US experts have suggested trading the end of the war for denuclearisation.

It flatly described that as only the "most basic... process" to restore ties, not a point for negotiation.  

"The end of war... is not just a gift from a man to another at all. Furthermore, it can never be a bargaining chip for getting the DPRK denuclearised," it said, using the North's full name. 

KCNA said that Pyongyang was willing to take "such... steps as eternal dismantlement" of its nuclear complex "if the US takes a corresponding measure" but again did not elaborate.

Cho Sung-ryul, analyst at the Institute of National Security Strategy, said the commentary may be aimed at limiting Washington's room for manoeuvre.

"The North is trying to reduce the negotiating value of Washington's potential offer of a peace treaty, by suggesting that 'it's not good enough to make us denuclearise'," he told South Korea's news agency Yonhap. 

A landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in June led to a warming of ties, but there has been little concrete progress toward denuclearisation.

The North's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho also told the UN last month that there was "no way" his country would disarm first as long as the US pushes for tough enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang. 

Trump however lauded Kim, saying last week the pair had fallen "in love" -- their bromance fuelled by "beautiful letters" he recently received from the young leader. 

The ceasefire that halted the bloody conflict that sealed the division of the Korean peninsula was signed by the North, its military ally China and the US -- which fought on the side of the South. 

The South did not take part as its then-leader refused to end the war unless the whole peninsula was unified. 




As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: December 2, 2022 - 2:16pm

South Korean officials were briefing the White House Thursday on the outcome of their pathfinding meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Seoul has already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North's nuclear and missile tests. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.

Top Trump administration officials were getting a chance to hear firsthand from South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation that went to Pyongyang. — Associated Press

December 2, 2022 - 2:16pm

The United States, Japan and South Korea impose fresh sanctions on North Korean individuals and entities in response to Pyongyang's recent slew of missile tests.

Washington's action, announced Thursday, blocks any assets of three North Korean officials in the United States, a largely symbolic step against an isolated country that has defied international pressure over its weapons programs.

The US Treasury Department also threatened sanctions against anyone who conducts transactions with Jon Il Ho, Yu Jin and Kim Su Gil, who were identified as directly involved in weapons development. — AFP

November 27, 2022 - 12:12pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country aimed to have the world's most powerful nuclear force as he celebrated the launch of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile at a ceremony with his young daughter, state media reported Sunday.

Kim also handed promotions to more than 100 officials and scientists for their work on the Hwasong-17 -- dubbed the "monster missile" by analysts and believed to be capable of reaching the US mainland -- just days after Pyongyang test-fired it in one of its most powerful launches yet.

Hailing the new ICBM as "the world's strongest strategic weapon", Kim said North Korean scientists had made a "wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles", the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Building the nuclear force to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people "is the greatest and most important revolutionary cause, and its ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century", Kim was quoted as saying in his order promoting the officials.

The leading officials and scientists had demonstrated to the world Pyongyang's "goal of building the world's strongest army", he added. -- AFP

November 24, 2022 - 5:32pm

State media reports that the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has described South Korea's president and government as "idiots" and a "faithful dog" of the United States.

Kim Yo Jong's vitriol follows Seoul this week saying it was considering fresh unilateral sanctions on the North over recent missile tests, including an intercontinental ballistic missile launch last week.

"This disgusting act shows more clearly that the south Korean group is a 'faithful dog' and stooge of the US," Kim says in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). — AFP

November 21, 2022 - 7:35am

The G7 nations slam North Korea's "reckless" launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile and called on the UN Security Council to take further "significant" action to halt the tests.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations say repeated launching of missiles by North Korea "further destabilizes the region, despite calls from the international community for peace and stability."

The missile North Korea test fired on Friday appeared to be its newest ICBM with the potential range to hit the US mainland.

The G7 statement called for "a united and robust response by the international community, including the need for further significant measures to be taken by the UN Security Council." — AFP

November 18, 2022 - 9:40am

North Korea fired an "unidentified ballistic missile" Friday, Seoul's military says, the second launch in two days as Pyongyang continues a record-breaking blitz that has sent fears of a nuclear test soaring.

South Korea's military detected the "launch of an unidentified ballistic missile in an eastward direction", Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff says. — AFP

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