Korea warns U.S. against ignoring year-end deadline on Trump-Kim friendship

This image captured from a footnote released on Oct. 22, 2019, by the North's official Korean Central News Agency shows Kim Yong-chol (L), a vice chairman of the Workers' Party Central Committee. (Yonhap)

This image captured from a footnote released on Oct. 22, 2019, by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency shows Kim Yong-chol (L), a vice chairman of the Workers’ Party Central Committee. (Yonhap)

Seoul: North Korea said Sunday it would be mistaken for the United States to ignore a year-end deadline on nuclear negotiations by exploiting close personal relations between leaders of the two countries.

The North also warned that relations between the countries can “fall into a state of belligerency” if there is no substantial progress.

“The U.S. is seriously mistaken if it is of the idea of passing off in peace the end of this year, by exploiting the close personal relations between its president and the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK for the delaying tactics,” Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of the Workers’ Party Central Committee, said in a statement moved by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim issued the statement in his capacity as chairman of the North’s Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

He was clearly referring to the year-end deadline Pyongyang set for Washington to come up with a new proposal in their denuclearization negotiations. The DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

Kim was the North’s top negotiator in denuclearization talks with the U.S. but was replaced by Jang Kum-chol after the breakdown of the U.S.-North Korean summit meeting in Hanoi in February.

“The U.S. is now more desperately resorting to the hostile policy towards the DPRK, misjudging the patience and tolerance of the DPRK,” Kim said.

He condemned Washington’s call for the final, fully verified denuclearization (FFVD) of North Korean weapons at a United Nations General Assembly meeting last month.

“The U.S. is persistently pressurizing other countries into implementing the U.N. ‘sanctions resolutions’ and is leaving no stone unturned to get the anti-DPRK resolutions passed in the U.N. General Assembly, using its satellite countries,” he said.

“The situation points to the U.S. intent to isolate and stifle the DPRK in a more crafty and vicious way than before, instead of complying with our call for a change in its calculation method,” he added.

He said the close personal relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has helped maintain the bilateral relations despite such “hostile acts and wrong habitual practices” by the U.S.

“But there is a limit to everything,” he said. “The close personal relations can never be kept aloof from the public mindset, and they are never a guarantee for preventing the DPRK-U.S. relations from getting aggravated or for making up for.”

He warned that if there is no substantial progress, the U.S.-North Korean relations can fall into a state of belligerency.

“My hope is that the diplomatic adage that there is neither permanent foe nor permanent friend does not change into the one that there is a permanent foe but no permanent friend,” he noted.

YONHAP

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