North Korea’s top envoy slams US stance on sanctions
SEOUL – Anadolu Agency
While the June 12 agreement reached between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North’s Chairman Kim Jong-un in Singapore did not include specifics, Ri Yong-ho told the ASEAN regional forum that both sides need to take “simultaneous actions.”
Having previously accompanied Kim on his visit to the city-state, the minister was back in Singapore for the Southeast Asia forum -- alongside other leading diplomats, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder to maintain the sanctions against [North Korea] and show the attitude to retreat even from declaring the end of the war, a very basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean Peninsula,” he said in a speech made available by Pyongyang’s delegation.
Washington has maintained it will only agree to formally end the Korean War -- having signed the 1953 armistice -- once the North has denuclearized.
“Any violation that distracts from the world’s goal of finally fully denuclearizing North Korea would be something that America would take very seriously,” Pompeo said, according to the Yonhap News Agency, addressing reports that Russia has been violating sanctions against the North.
Meanwhile, Ri reportedly aimed to convince fellow forum participants to either relax or completely abandon those sanctions.
The U.N. Security Council adopted its latest resolution punishing Pyongyang following the authoritarian regime’s sixth nuclear test nearly a year ago.