Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

North Korea threatens to resume nuclear development over economic sanctions

North Korea threatens to resume nuclear development over economic sanctions

What Happened: North Korea has warned it might revive a policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions, the AP reported November 3.

U.S. President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12, 2018, at Singapore's Capella Hotel in what was the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

South Korean Deputy Sector Minister Roh Tae-kang and his North Korean counterpart Won Kil-u are leading the talks at the joint liaison office, opened in September in the border town of Kaesong.

The measures hamper South Korea from pursuing cooperation projects with North Korea, the institute said. North Korea, however, has demanded the United States lessen its sanctions pressure before any progress on denuclearization talks.

The biggest combat-readiness war game ever staged in and around Japan has gone ahead, however, with nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan joining Japanese destroyers and a Canadian warship in the ocean off Japan - another key player in the effort to pressure North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, has forged ahead with efforts to engage with North Korea in recent months, raising USA concerns that Seoul could weaken pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

It would be extremely hard to host the Olympics in North Korea under heavy US-led sanctions, which are unlikely to be removed until the North takes concrete steps to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

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North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the US President Donald Trump's administration had failed to understand its repeated demand. Pompeo and Kim will probably be accompanied by special envoy Stephen Biegun and North Korea's Choe Son Hui, South Korea's Hankyoreh newspaper reported.

"We can not help laughing at such a foolish idea", it said.

"A lot of work remains, but I'm confident that we will keep the economic pressure in place until such time as Chairman Kim fulfills the commitment he made to President Trump back in June in Singapore", Pompeo said.

Pyongyang has condemned the "gangster methods" of Americans accused of demanding unilateral disarmament without making concessions.

"The word "byungjin" may appear again and the change of the line could be seriously reconsidered", said the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

Last month, the North's state media carried a near 1,700 words long commentary accusing the U.S. of playing a "double game", implicitly criticizing Trump for his comments aimed at barring Seoul from lifting sanctions against Pyongyang.

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