Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

North Korea Rejecting Pompeo's Denuclearization Timetable

North Korea Rejecting Pompeo's Denuclearization Timetable

The announcement Thursday by the South's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean issues for Seoul, comes amid attempts by Washington and Pyongyang to follow through on nuclear disarmament vows made at a summit in June between President Donald Trump and Kim.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday North Korea has done little to denuclearize, almost two months after the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, met with President Donald Trump.

Pyongyang insisted that the US should reciprocate to the North's suspension of missile launches and nuclear tests and other goodwill gestures such as the return of remains of American troops killed in the Korean War.

Kim and Trump promised to work to end North Korea's weapons programs at their summit in Singapore, but the two countries have been struggling to reach a detailed accord to meet that goal. Those followed contentious remarks last week by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean Foreign Minster Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore.

According to Vox, North Korea has not yet disclosed to the United States exactly how many nuclear bombs it has - complicating any verification if they were to hand over any warheads.

Earlier 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".

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"However, the USA responded to our expectation by inciting global sanctions and pressure against the DPRK", it said in a statement carried by KCNA news agency. The US remains cautious as it wants to see progress in denuclearization talks first.

The White House and State Department did not immediately return requests for comment.

Vox reported it is unclear what concessions, if any, the United States would offer in exchange beyond sanctions relief or removing North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list.

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

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri traveled this week to Iran, where President Hassan Rouhani told him the United States can not be trusted after the Trump administration reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's own nuclear program.

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