DPRK blasts US provocations and suspends north-south talks

US hubris and aggression is sabotaging Korean hopes for peace and reunification.

We reproduce below two important statements from officials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) regarding the US’s latest provocations against north Korea, which threaten to derail the ongoing negotiations towards peaceful reunification and shatter the Korean people’s hopes for a final end to the Korean war and to the imperialist occupation of their country.

Press statement by DPRK’s first vice-minister of foreign affairs

Koream Central News Agency, Pyongyang, 16 May 2018

Kim Kye Gwan, first vice-minister of foreign affairs of the DPRK, made public the following press statement on Wednesday:

Kim Jong Un, chairman of the state affairs commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, made a strategic decision to put an end to the unpleasant history of DPRK-US relations and met Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, twice during his visit to our country and took very important and broadminded steps for peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the world.

In response to the noble intention of Chairman Kim Jong Un, President Trump stated his position in favour of terminating the historically deep-rooted hostility and improving relations between the DPRK and the US.

I appreciated the position positively with an expectation that the upcoming DPRK-US summit would be a big step forward for catalysing a détente on the Korean peninsula and building a great future.

But now, prior to the DPRK-US summit, unbridled remarks provoking the other side of the dialogue are recklessly being made in the US, and I am totally disappointed as these constitute extremely unjust behaviour.

High-ranking officials in the White House and the Department of State, including Bolton, the White House national security adviser, are letting loose assertions of the so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment, “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation”, “total decommissioning of nuclear weapons, missiles, biochemical weapons”, etc, while talking about a formula of “abandoning nuclear weapons first, compensating afterwards”.

This is not the expression of an intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially a manifestation of awfully sinister moves to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq, which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers.

I cannot suppress indignation at such moves of the US, and harbour doubt about the US’s sincerity for improved DPRK-US relations through sound dialogue and negotiations.

The world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq, which both met a miserable fate.

It is absolutely absurd to dare compare the DPRK, a nuclear-armed state, to Libya, which had been only at the initial stage of nuclear development.

We have shed light on the character of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him.

If the Trump administration fails to recall the lessons learned from the past, when previous DPRK-US talks had to undergo twists and setbacks owing to the likes of Bolton, and turns its ear to the advice of quasi-‘patriots’ who insist on the Libya mode and the like, prospects for the upcoming DPRK-US summit and overall DPRK-US relations will be crystal clear.

We have already stated our intention for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and made clear on several occasions that the precondition for denuclearisation is to put an end to the anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States.

But now, the US is miscalculating the magnanimity and broadminded initiatives of the DPRK as signs of weakness, and trying to embellish and advertise them as if they are the product of US sanctions and pressure.

The US is trumpeting as if it would offer economic compensation and benefit if we abandon our nukes. But we have never had any expectation of US support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in the future, either.

It is a ridiculous comedy to see that the Trump administration, claiming to take a different road from the previous administrations, still clings to this outdated policy on the DPRK – a policy pursued by previous administrations at the time when the DPRK was at an earlier stage of nuclear development.

If President Trump follows in the footsteps of his predecessors, he will be recorded as a more tragic and unsuccessful president than his predecessors, far from his initial ambition to be an unprecedented success.

If the Trump administration approaches the DPRK-US summit with sincerity for improved DPRK-US relations, it will receive a deserved response from us. However, if the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-US summit.

KCNA blasts US and south Korea for staging large-scale military drill against DPRK

The Korean Central News Agency made public the following report on 16 May 2018.

The south Korean authorities, together with the US, have been staging since 11 May the largest-ever ‘2018 Max Thunder’ joint air drill throughout south Korea, which is aimed at making a preemptive air strike on the DPRK and winning the air.

Involved in the drill are over 100 fighters of various missions, including B-52 strategic nuclear bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, under the supervision of the US imperialist aggressor forces in south Korea and the south Korean airforce. It will last till 25 May.

Public opinion at home and abroad notes that the manoeuvre is the largest-ever and a reflection of the invariable stand of the US and south Korea to persist in the “maximum pressure and sanctions” against the DPRK.

The DPRK-targeted drill being staged across south Korea is an undisguised challenge to the Panmunjom declaration and a deliberate military provocation to the favourable trend of developments on the Korean peninsula.

The north and the south solemnly stated in the declaration that a new peace era was ushered in and reached an agreement on making joint efforts to defuse the acute military tensions on the peninsula and substantially ease the danger of war, and the US also fully supported this.

However, even before the ink of the historic 27 April declaration was dry, the south Korean authorities and the US started such a drill against the DPRK, reacting to all the DPRK’s peace-loving efforts and good intentions with rude and wicked provocations and arousing serious concern and disappointment among all the fellow countrymen and the international community desirous of the implementation of the declaration.

If the US and the south Korean authorities regard the phase of improving inter-Korean ties and the DPRK-US dialogue provided by the proactive and broadminded efforts and measures of the DPRK as something allowed any time and any hour, they are sadly mistaken.

The south Korean authorities, in particular, resorted to such improper acts quite against their promise to make efforts for peace, prosperity and reunification on the peninsula together with the DPRK, and are allowing even human scum to brazenly hurl mud at the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and its system and play down the Panmunjom declaration in front of the building of the ‘national assembly’.

There is a limit to showing goodwill and offering opportunity.

The historic Panmunjom declaration cannot be implemented by unilateral efforts of a single party but can come to fruition only when the two parties create favourable conditions and climate by pooling their efforts.

We cannot but take the step of suspending the north-south high-level talks scheduled for 16 May under the prevailing awful situation, where a mad-cap north-targeted war and confrontation racket are being kicked up in south Korea.

The south Korean authorities, lost to all sense, should be held wholly accountable for the scuttled inter-Korean high-level talks and the difficulties and obstacles in the way of north-south relations.

The US will have to think carefully about the fate of the DPRK-US summit, which was placed on the agenda before it made its provocative military racket against the DPRK in league with the south Korean authorities.

We will closely watch the ensuing behaviour of the US and the south Korean authorities.