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Thursday, February 15, 2024

North Korea will not entertain denuclearisation, warns Pyongyang

North Korea has lambasted the South for its constant pleas to carry out denuclearisation talks, saying in a statement that it will not entertain them. Inter-Korean relations have been the rockiest in decades over the latest scandal of Anti-Kim leaflets making their way into the North from the South.

North Korea on Saturday issued another angry statement against Seoul, this time excoriating it for “nonsensical” statements on the stalled dialogue about Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. In a categoric statement, officials have stated that North Korea will not entertain denuclearisation talks with South Korea, urging it to drop its requests to do so.

South Korea has been the target of a wave of angry statements recently from the North, which has accused Seoul of allowing defectors to launch leaflets critical of leader Kim Jong Un into its territory.

North Korea will not entertain denuclearisation despite efforts by Seoul

The latest statement was in response to a South Korean foreign ministry official reportedly saying Seoul would continue “efforts for denuclearisation”, referring to the long-stalled nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea.

Read more: Korea military deal in danger as North Korea threatens withdrawal

“It is really preposterous to hear the balderdash of South Korean authorities… who do not have either any qualification to discuss, or… poke their noses into the matters between” Pyongyang and Washington, Kwon Jong Gun, the North’s foreign affairs official in charge of negotiating with the US, said in a statement.

Kwon denounced Seoul for trying to “meddle” in the process in the statement, which was carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency and concluded with the warning: “It is better to stop a nonsensical talking about denuclearization.”

North Korean statement comes amid criticism of United States

The broadside came a day after Pyongyang issued a stinging denunciation of the United States on the second anniversary of a landmark summit in Singapore where US President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea denounced the United States and castigated Donald Trump for hypocrisy on Friday, the second anniversary of a landmark summit in Singapore where the US president shook hands with leader Kim Jong Un. This is a worrying development for the safety of the Korean Peninsula, as Kim Jong Un has been increasingly pugnacious with his state’s immediate neighbour, South Korea.

Read more: North Korea denounces US only two years after Singapore summit

It was the latest in a series of vitriolic statements from Pyongyang aimed at both Washington and Seoul, and came a day after the North implicitly threatened to disrupt November’s election if the US did not stay out of inter-Korean affairs.

It contained some of the harshest criticism Pyongyang has sent Washington’s way in recent months and cast doubts over the future of the long-deadlocked nuclear talks process.

Kwon doubled down on that position in Saturday’s statement, saying North Korea “will continue to build up our force in order to overpower the persistent threats from the United States”.

Inter-Korean relations: on the rocks

Inter-Korean ties have been at a standstill since the collapse of the second US-North summit in Hanoi in February last year, with a deadlock over the concessions Washington was willing to offer in return for Pyongyang’s denuclearisation measures.

In recent days, Pyongyang has excoriated the South over defectors launching leaflets criticising Kim into the North and announced it was cutting all official communication links with Seoul.

The leaflets — usually attached to hot air balloons or floated in bottles — criticise North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions.

Read more: Time running out for US-North Korea deal: South’s Moon

North Korean defectors and other activists have long flown balloons across the border carrying leaflets that criticise Kim over human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions.

“The South Korean authorities will be forced to pay a dear price if they let this situation go on while making all sort of excuses,” Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean supremo Kim Jong Un, said in an earlier statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

Trump and Kim were all smiles in front of the world’s cameras in Singapore as a North Korean leader met a sitting US president for the first time, and afterwards Trump proclaimed on Twitter that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

But a second meeting in Hanoi last year to put meat on the bones of the North’s vaguely worded Singapore pledge to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula” collapsed over what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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