The North Korean foreign minister criticizes the US sanctions and says that Pyongyang will not go towards denuclearization if Washington does not take positive steps.
In his speech on Saturday at the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) in New York, the North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Yong-ho, has warned that the continued sanctions against Pyongyang deepen distrust in the United States objectives.
“Without confidence in the US there will be no confidence in our national security, and under such circumstances, in no way will we disarm unilaterally first, “added the North Korean diplomat in his speech, assuring that the embargoes will never force the North Korean people to kneel.
The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Ri detailed, should be a gradual process accompanied by confidence building measures.
Ri has also criticized the US for applying in an “inappropriate” manner the joint declaration issued by North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and the US president, Donald Trump, after a historic summit held in June.
In the framework of the agreement of June in Singapore, the US leader promised to stop the joint military exercises of the United States and South Korea around the Korean peninsula and to lift the sanctions against Pyongyang, while the North Korean leader promised to dismantle the atomic arsenal of his country.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that sanctions against North Korea will not be lifted until “complete denuclearization” is achieved and verified “from the Korean peninsula.
Ri stresses that his country has implemented significant “goodwill” measures, such as the suspension of nuclear tests and ballistic missiles and the dismantling of the nuclear test site , but the US has not adopted reciprocal measures.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the United States to give “timely and positive responses” to the steps taken by North Korea towards denuclearization and defended the reduction of international sanctions against Pyongyang to facilitate progress.
Washington has repeatedly criticized the lack of progress in denuclearization, but the North Korean authorities blame the lack of progress in the peace process on Washington’s failure to comply with its commitments, the maintenance of sanctions and certain provocative measures.