Ex-top North Korean nuclear negotiator warns U.S. not to ignore year-end deadline by 'exploiting' Kim-Trump ties
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BY JESSE JOHNSON
OCT 27, 2019
The former top North Korean nuclear negotiator Sunday delivered a scathing indictment of the United States’ position in nuclear talks, blasting Washington’s “delaying tactics” and warning of a failure to heed leader Kim Jong Un’s deadline for a “bold decision” by the year’s end.
Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, a known regime hard-liner, said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency that “no substantial progress has been made” in improving ties and that continued “belligerent relations” could lead to an “exchange of fire” at “any moment.”
Kim Yong Chol said the U.S. would be “seriously mistaken” if it ignores the end-of-the-year deadline by using “delaying tactics” and “exploiting the close personal relations” between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader.
“The U.S. is now more desperately resorting to the hostile policy towards the DPRK, misjudging the patience and tolerance of the DPRK,” he said, using the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
October 27, 2019 at 9:08 PM #201933Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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October 31, 2019 at 3:40 AM #206050soryangParticipant
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As far as I know, this is the first published public statement of Kim Yong Chol, since the debacle at Hanoi. It really isn’t a good sign. He was held incommunicado for a while after, reputedly for health reasons. Then he appeared with the State Affairs Committee in published photo, in April. Also in a plenary party central committee meeting. But Choe Son Hui, a well known figure from the six party talks and the assistant foreign minister was elevated to the SAC. She seemed to take over foreign policy with respect to the US, in lieu of Kim Yong Chol, leading to the summit at Panmunjum which didn’t result in any progress. Recently, the failure of the working level talks then followed at Stockholm.
There is an ongoing dialogue right now about the North Korean economy and how it will fare. The economic shrinkage of North Korea exports continues under the sanctions. Exports to China have fallen 90 percent according to VOA. There is leakage across the border but it is probably on a small scale. Soon, the sanctions require all North Korean workers to be repatriated to North Korea. So this is another upcoming reduction on their foreign currency exchange earnings. The recent statement that North Korea will demolish and replace the South Korean built resort at Gumgangsan came as a surprise to South Korea. It appears from reporting I’ve seen that the North Koreans are hoping to attract Chinese tourist traffic to Gumgangsan to replace the Korean tourists who haven’t been there in years since a tourist was shot there by NK guards for going off the approved areas July 11, 2008.
Obviously limitations on energy exports to North Korea and other commercial transactions are extremely detrimental to the economy and the livelihood of ordinary North Koreans. It is expected that the North will resume longer range missile testing or nuclear testing if the impasse is not overcome. There are powerful vested interests in the US who desire regime change or at a minimum just continue the status quo because it underpins the US alliances and military positions in east Asia. The two Koreas are pawns in the great power game in Asia just as late Chosun was in the late nineteeth century.
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