NATIONAL

No negotiation on nuclear issue unless US gives up hostile policy: NK top diplomat

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 8, 2017 - 09:22
  • Updated : Aug 8, 2017 - 09:23
North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that there will be no negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs unless the United States gives up its hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho also told a regional security forum in Manila that the North will not budge in its pursuit of strengthening its nuclear and missile capabilities.

His spokesman released the transcript of his remarks at the ASEAN Regional Forum to reporters at a hotel where Ri was staying.

"We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table," Ri told Asia-Pacific foreign ministers at the forum.

"Neither shall we flinch an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the US against the DPRK are fundamentally eliminated."

(Yonhap)

The DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He condemned the UN Security Council's new sanctions resolution as a fabrication and threatened to retaliate against the move led by the US. 

The UN Security Council adopted the US-drafted resolution on Saturday to punish North Korea for its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month. They mostly focus on banning the North's exports of coal, a major source of money suspected of being channeled to advance its weapons program.

"The US fabricated a new sanctions resolution against the DPRK in the UN Security Council. The DPRK has already made its position clear it will respond with strong follow-up measures and acts of justice," he said, referring to the North's statement issued earlier in the day.

Ri said that the North has demonstrated to the world its significantly improved missile capability through the recent missile tests, who he said is a "stern warning" to the US.

"Should the US pounce upon the DPRK with military force at last, the DPRK is ready to teach the US a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force it has so far shown in detail."

He still emphasized that the North is a "responsible" state possessing nuclear weapons and ICBMs, saying that it will not use them against any countries other than the US unless they join the US in military action against it.

He, meanwhile, said South Korea and Japan are "blindly" following the US, suggesting that the North has little interest in having talks with those countries.

"I will not take trouble to mention on the Japanese and South Korean authorities who regard kowtowing blindly to the US as their mode of existence," he said. (Yonhap)