Both Koreas with More Consensus to Improve Bilateral Relations

South Korea and the People''s Democratic Republic of Korea (PDRK) achieved today new consensus to put to work joint projects and improve links in sectors such as infrastructure, sports, health and the military.

During the meeting at the border village of Panmunjom, delegations of both countries agreed to start by the end of November or beginning of December this year, the works that will reconnect the border roads and railways.

They also decided to soon hold military dialogues at the level of generals, to hold a meeting of the Red Cross next month centered on the issue of families separated by the war (1950-53) and return to the negotiating table at the end of October to discuss joint organization of the Olympic Games of 2032.

In the talks held this Monday, each country was represented by five-member teams that explored ways to materialize the pacts reached by the leaders of both Koreas in their third Summit of the year, celebratesd by the middle of September in Pyongyang.

Such meeting closed with the signing of a declaration that includes as most outstanding aspect the decision of the North to permanently dismantle its most important nuclear facilities in the presence of foreign experts.

Just at the beginning of this year, the PDRK opened the road to understanding, peace and denuclearization of the península and since them sustain meetings at different levels with South Korea, the United States and China to achieve those purposes.

In that context, reaffirmed its determination to resignj to its advanced nuclear and missile program -of a self-defensive nature and axis of old disputes- always there are real guarantees that threats and pressures against it will end on the part of Washington and allies in the zone.

The international community keeps alert to the process of approach with the expectation that distension is achieved in the Korean península.

  • Published in World

"No Way": North Korea Says Will Not Disarm Without Trust In US

United Nations, United States: North Korea's foreign minister on Saturday told the United Nations there was "no way" that his country would disarm first as long as the United States continued to push for tough enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Ri Yong Ho accused Washington of creating a deadlock in talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. 

"The recent deadlock is because the US relies on coercive measures which are lethal to trust-building," Ri told the assembly.

"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."

The United States is insisting on a "denuclearization-first" policy that "increases the level of pressure by sanctions to achieve their purpose in a coercive manner," said the foreign minister.

"The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant about us."

Led by the United States, the UN Security Council adopted three sanctions resolutions last year aimed at depriving North Korea of revenue for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

A landmark summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June led to a warming of ties and a halt in Pyongyang's missile launches, but there has been little concrete progress since.

While in New York, Ri met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who agreed to return to Pyongyang next month to discuss US demands that the North scrap its weapons programs.

Pompeo will also try to arrange a second summit between Trump and Kim, whose June meeting in Singapore was the first ever between sitting leaders of the long-time enemy states.

Russia, China want sanctions relief

The North Korean foreign minister told the UN assembly that his government had stopped nuclear and missile tests, dismantled a nuclear test site and continued to make efforts to build trust.

"However we do not see any corresponding response from the US," he said.

North Korea's complaints have gotten a sympathetic ear from Russia and China, which this week called for an easing of sanctions to encourage Pyongyang to make concessions.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the "positive developments" in relations between North and South Korea -- combined with warmer US-North Korean ties -- should lead to sanctions relief.

The United States however has pushed for full enforcement of the tough measures that include a cap on oil and fuel deliveries, a ban on exports of North Korea's raw commodities and an end to contracts for its workers abroad.

China is Pyongyang's top trading partner, while Russia has welcomed tens of thousands of North Korean laborers that provide a vital source of hard currency. Human rights groups say the laborers often work in slave-like conditions. 

The United States is also hearing calls for step-by-step sanctions relief from ally South Korea, whose left-leaning President Moon Jae-in helped arrange Trump's diplomatic drive.

That view is not shared by Japan, which wants complete and verified disarming of North Korea as a condition for lifting any sanctions.
 

  • Published in World

N. Korea vows to deepen relations with Cuba

North Korea said Wednesday that it will strengthen relations with Cuba as the two marked the anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties almost six decades ago.

North Korea and Cuba have "consolidated their friendly ties in their fight for building socialism for the past 58 years," said the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers' Party of Korea, calling the ties those of "invincible" and "eternal comrades."

"Our people will continue to make active efforts to strengthen and advance the time-honored and friendly relations with Cuba based on principles of revolution and camaraderie," it added.

The newspaper also heaped praise on Cuba for making progress in improving its economy, which it said have been devastated by oppression from imperialists, apparently pointing to the sanctions imposed by the United States.

North Korea and Cuba established diplomatic ties on Aug. 29, 1960. The North recently sent high-ranking officials, including its No. 2, Choe Ryong-hae, to the island country in a bid to demonstrate their long and friendly relations.

  • Published in Cuba

The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries Defended in PDRK

Pyongyang, Aug 25 (Prensa Latina) The existence of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (Mnoal), the second largest organization of countries after the UN, is being defended today in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The aforementioned defense is played by the important DPRK newspapers Rodong Sinmun (RS), the official organ of the Workers' Party of Korea (PTC) and Minju Joson (MJ), official media of the government of this country.

The fact occurs on the anniversary of the 43rd anniversary of the incorporation of North Korea into this forum of political agreement consisting of 120 member countries, plus another 15 as observers.

RS recalls that the incorporation of the DPRK in 1975 to the group of countries raised the position and prestige of Pyongyang in the international arena.

The MJ newspaper said that the DPRK will be faithful in the future also to the principles and ideal of NAM and will fulfill its mission and duty in the materialization of the independence cause throughout the world.

Both newspapers of the capital recall that at present the movement faces complicated problems such as aggressions against its member countries, wars and intervention in internal affairs of the imperialists to their affiliates.

They urged the member nations of the Mnoal to continue the fight with more audacity than ever against the aggressive and warlike maneuvers of the imperialist forces.

Rodong Sinmun and Minju Joson mention that more than eight decades after the incorporation of the DPRK into the Mnoal, this country maintains the invariable position of actively contributing to the consolidation and development of the organization, in congruence with its foreign policy of independence.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have excellent relations

First Deputy Chairman of State and Ministerial Councils Salvador Valdés Mesa, on Wednesday afternoon, received the company Choe Ryong Hae, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Member of the Committee of the Bureau of the Political Bureau and Vice-President of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea (PTC), who makes a work visit in our country.

During the meeting, both leaders noted the excellent state of relations between our people, parties and governments

Including the distinguished visitor Ryu Myong Son, Deputy Director of the International Federation of PTC Central Committee and Pak Chang Yul, Ambassador for North Korea in Havana. On the Cuban side, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Foreign Minister, and Juan Carlos Marsán, Deputy Director of the International Relations of the Cuban Communist Party's Central Committee.

  • Published in Cuba

North Korea slams 'gangster-like' U.S. demands after satisfied Pompeo leaves

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) - North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of making “gangster-like” demands in talks over its nuclear program, contradicting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hours after he left saying the old enemies had made progress on key issues.

During a day and a half of talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo had sought to hammer out details on how to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear programs, including a timeline.

As he departed, he said he had made progress on “almost all of the central issues,” although work remained to be done.

Hours later, Pyongyang gave a much more negative assessment, saying Washington had broken the spirit of last month’s summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,” a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

He said Pompeo’s delegation insisted on unilateral complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, known as CVID. He argued instead for both sides to take a series of simultaneous steps as a “shortcut” to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

“The high-level talks this time brought us in a dangerous situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the U.S.”

There was no immediate comment on the KCNA statement from the State Department or the White House. The contrasting comments raised questions over whether North Korea is committed to abandoning the nuclear programs it has developed for decades and has seen as key to its survival.

Sponsored

‘LIKE A ROBBER’

Trump and Kim pledged at their June 12 summit meeting in Singapore to move toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Trump has declared on Twitter that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat.

But Kim has yet to provide details of how or when North Korea might dismantle a weapons program that Trump has vowed will not be allowed to threaten the United States. Also, leaked U.S. intelligence findings concluded North Korea does not intend to completely give up its nuclear program.

On Saturday, Pompeo said he spent “a good deal of time” in the latest talks discussing a denuclearization timeline and the declaration of the North’s nuclear and missile facilities.

“These are complicated issues but we made progress on almost all of the central issues. Some places a great deal of progress, other places there’s still more work to be done,” he said, according to a pool report from U.S. reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang.

“The North Koreans are in the game to get, not to give,” said Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia until last year.

“They have gotten the U.S. to back off military exercises, back off using ‘CVID’, back off the ‘Libya model’ of rapid denuclearization, back off on human rights, and to look the other way while China relaxes sanctions implementation. So why wouldn’t Kim Jong Un dig in his heels with Pompeo and press his advantage?”

Abraham Denmark, a senior defense official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said: “This is a rejection of U.S. demands for unilateral denuclearization by North Korea, and a clear message that the U.S. will need to give up more to make progress.”

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo had been “very firm” on three basic goals: complete denuclearization of North Korea, security assurances and repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on repatriation, and also discussed “modalities” for destruction of a missile engine testing facility.

KCNA said the North also offered to discuss declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War marking next month’s anniversary of the armistice agreement, but the U.S. side showed little interest, giving “certain conditions and excuses.”

Nauert said the July 12 meeting, along the border between North and South Korea, would be at working level and involve U.S. Defense Department officials.

Pompeo did not meet Kim as he had done on two previous visits to North Korea this year, but handed over a letter to him from Trump.

A letter from Kim to Trump was also delivered to Pompeo through Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean party official and former spy agency chief, who was Pompeo’s interlocutor and played a key role in arranging the Singapore summit.

In the letter, Kim Jong Un expressed his “expectation and conviction” that future dialogue would further consolidate the sentiments of good faith between the two leaders, KCNA said.

“We still cherish our good faith in President Trump,” the spokesman said.

‘EQUALLY COMMITTED’

Asked about reports based on U.S. intelligence assessments that North Korea had continued to develop its nuclear facilities even while engaging in dialogue, Pompeo said:

“We talked about what the North Koreans are continuing to do and how it’s the case that we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trump both agreed to, which is the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

“Chairman Kim is ... still committed” to that goal, Pompeo said, and he reiterated that Trump was “committed to a brighter future for North Korea”.

The U.S.-North Korea talks are being closely watched across Asia. Pompeo is due to meet in Tokyo on Sunday with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Some U.S. experts on North Korea said the ongoing disputes show the risk of Washington granting premature concessions to Pyongyang. Many were surprised when Trump agreed at the summit in Singapore to end joint military exercises with South Korea.

  • Published in World

Senior N. Korean ruling party official departs for Cuba

A senior official of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party departed Tuesday for Cuba, Pyongyang's state media reported without elaborating on the purpose of his trip.

Ri Su-yong, a vice chairman of the ruling party's Central Committee, is leading the North's delegation, the Korean Central News Agency said.

Ri was spotted at an airport in Moscow en route to Cuba. A diplomatic source said that Ri would visit from Thursday to next Monday. Details about his itinerary in Russia were not known.

Ri's trip came after Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected the island nation's new president in April to succeed Raul Castro, who took over the presidency in 2006.

Observers said that Ri's visit appears intended to celebrate the launch of the new Cuban leadership and strengthen party-to-party exchanges.

Shortly after Diaz-Canel's election, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message to the newly elected leader, who later sent a reply voicing his desire to deepen bilateral ties.

  • Published in Cuba

Trump the peacekeeper? US leader brags that America would be ‘in war’ with N. Korea 'if not for him

US President Donald Trump has once again baffled the international community, as he claimed that it was him who actually saved the world from a potentially devastating conflict between Washington and Pyongyang.

“If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!” Trump said in a Twitter post on Tuesday as he rejoiced the “many good conversations with North Korea,” which he said are “going well.” He then apparently also took the credit for the absence of any North Korean missile launches and nuclear tests over the last eight months.

Pyongyang indeed ceased its nuclear and missile activities for quite some time, although it remains doubtful whether it was actually a result of the US “maximum pressure” policy, which was so adamantly championed by Trump not so long ago. When the situation around the Korean Peninsula heated up following the North’s nuclear and missile tests in early September 2017, the US leader actually opted for open confrontation, albeit only verbally, rather than for diplomatic efforts.

In October 2017, he actually declared all talks with Pyongyang were pointless, as he said that “only one thing will work,” while lambasting the then-US State Secretary Rex Tillerson for “wasting his time trying to negotiate with the Little Rocket Man” – a derogatory nickname Trump coined for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

 
© KCNA

The US leader then repeatedly said that “talking is not the answer” to the Korean crisis, adding that “talk of appeasement” will not “work” with North Korea, and he even resorted to open threats of war. Speaking at the annual General Debate of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly back in September 2017, Trump famously said that the US “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” if forced to defend itself and its allies. He also warned that Washington would not hesitate to use its “nuclear capabilities” to defend itself and its allies.

Russia has repeatedly warned the US against taking military action against North Korea, advocating for a diplomatic approach instead. Russia’s Foreign Ministry particularly called on the US and its major ally in the region, South Korea, to take “adequate steps” and reduce their military activity in the region to avoid further escalation. While supporting a number of UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea, Moscow cautioned that the US-led drills are “provoking” Kim Jong-un into striving for new weapons.

In September 2017, Moscow and Beijing put forward a ‘double freeze’ plan calling for a simultaneous halt to North Korea’s tests and the US’ war games in the region. However, Washington ignored these calls and continued its maximum pressure and a bellicose line at that time.

Even when Pyongyang engaged in the first direct negotiations with Seoul over two years in early 2018, Trump was still full of skepticism and ready to resort to a military option. “I am not sure that talks will lead to anything meaningful,” he said at that time, adding that it was “very possible” that the standoff with North Korea might not be resolved peacefully.

 
FILE PHOTO. @ Reuters

At some points, the US president was so carried away by his war of words with the North Korean leader that it resulted in some blunders. On one such occasion, Trump famously bragged that his nuclear button was “much bigger and more powerful” than Kim Jong-un's.

North Korea also initially did not hesitate to issue belligerent statements, as it also threatened to “annihilate” the US and turn it into “ashes,” as well as to “sink” Japan and “wipe out” South Korea. However, it was Pyongyang that eventually decided to halt its nuclear and missile tests while Kim Jong-un sent a personal invitation to Trump to discuss the possible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It was only after the negotiations between two Koreas turned out to be largely successful and they were actually followed by the first meeting between the North and South Korean leaders since 2007, that Trump suddenly changed his rhetoric. He jumped from mocking the North Korean leader to calling him “very honorable.”

This trend continued after the historic meeting between the US and North Korean leaders in Singapore. Following the talks, Trump declared that there was “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea,” and actually praised Kim’s leadership and said that they had a “very good relationship,” as well as “good chemistry.”

Still, the US president also claimed back in April that it was his “maximum pressure” approach that actually worked. In fact, though, it seems that it was actually the “double freeze” plan, advocated by Russia and China from the very beginning of the recent Korean crisis, that the US and North Korean leaders followed to at least start to resolve their differences.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed