Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Koreas prepare for summit as North asks United States to ease sanctions

Koreas prepare for summit as North asks United States to ease sanctions

"However, the US responded to our expectation by inciting global sanctions and pressure against the DPRK", the statement read, using an acronym for North Korea's official name.

During landmark talks with US President Donald Trump in June, the North's leader Kim Jong Un signed up to a vague commitment to denuclearisation, far from the longstanding American demand for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of Pyongyang's atomic arsenal.

The two sides vowed to work towards North Korea's denuclearisation but have struggled to reach a deal to meet that goal, with the United States insisting sanctions pressure must be maintained during negotiations.

But, following the meeting, US intelligence officials said they believed North Korea was "deceiving" the USA, saying the regime was bolstering production for nuclear weapons at "multiple secret sites" in recent months.

"It's just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize", Bolton said.

The stark comments come after Trump and Kim's June meeting in Singapore, during which the White House said the North had made firm pledges to rid itself of its nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang has also stepped up its calls for a formal end to the Korean War, which some analysts believe is meant to be the first step in the North's effort to eventually see all 28,500 USA troops leave the Korean Peninsula.

"The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner", North Korea added in its statement.

Pyongyang's state media has highlighted it has made goodwill gestures, such as a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The warnings come just days after North Korea's foreign minister called USA actions "alarming".

The inter-Korean meeting on Monday will be held at Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in the border village of Panmunjom.

Relations between North Korea and the U.S. remain tense, despite reassurance from the U.S. State Department that the two countries are in contact with each other.

In the meantime, both Koreas are seeking an end of the Korean War.

Earlier on Thursday, North Korea's Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that ending the Korean War is "the first process for ensuring peace and security not only in the Korean peninsula but also in the region and the world".

Like this: