The foreign minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took to the world stage on Saturday. His speech at the United Nations contained a message for the US. CGTN’s Nathan King reports.
Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho issued a clear warning: Pyongyang will not unilaterally disarm its nuclear weapons, declaring more trust is needed between the DPRK and the US to move the process of denuclearization forward.
“Without any trust in the US, 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. “The DPRK’s commitment to denuclearization is solid and firm, however, it is only possible if the US secures our sufficient trust towards the US.”
Contrasting the improved relations between the two Koreas, Minister Ri said the pressure campaign of continued US sanctions will not work. He said it poisons the environment for further progress.
“The perception that sanctions can bring us to our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant about us. But the problem is the continued sanctions are deepening our mistrust,” he explained. “The reason behind the recent deadlock is because the U.S. relies on coercive measures which are lethal to trust building.”
Ri met with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo here in New York this week.
The U.S. Secretary of State had canceled a visit to Pyongyang in August but is now set to travel to Pyongyang soon – in part to arrange a possible second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.
It’s clear from the DPRK speech that diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington has stalled. But it’s hoped the optimism from the first meeting between Trump and Kim in June can be renewed with a second summit soon.