News ID: 239351
Published: 0330 GMT February 24, 2019

North Korea warns US skeptics as Kim heads for Vietnam summit

North Korea warns US skeptics as Kim heads for Vietnam summit
REUTERS

North Korea warned President Donald Trump on Sunday not to listen to US critics who were disrupting efforts to improve ties, as its leader, Kim Jong-un, made his way across China by train to a second summit with Trump in Vietnam.

The two leaders will meet in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, eight months after their historic summit in Singapore, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, where they pledged to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Reuters reported.

But their vaguely worded agreement has produced few results and US Democratic senators and US security officials have warned Trump against cutting a deal that would do little to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

The North's KCNA state news agency said such opposition was aimed at derailing the talks.

"If the present US administration reads others' faces, lending an ear to others, it may face the shattered dream of the improvement of the relations with the DPRK and world peace and miss the rare historic opportunity," the news agency said in a commentary, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The Trump administration has pressed the North to give up its nukes program, which, combined with its missile capabilities, pose a threat to the United States, before it can expect any concessions.

But a week before his second summit with Kim, Trump signaled a possible softening of that stance, saying he would love to be able to remove sanctions if there was meaningful progress on denuclearization.

Trump also said he was in no rush and had no pressing schedule for North Korea's denuclearization, hinting at a more gradual, reciprocal approach, long favored by Pyongyang.

The North also wants security guarantees and a formal end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a treaty.

In a letter to Trump last week, three Democratic chairmen of key House committees accused the administration of withholding information on the negotiations with North Korea.

"There are ample reasons to be skeptical that Chairman Kim is committed to a nuclear-free North Korea," the lawmakers wrote.

US intelligence officials recently testified to Congress that North Korea was unlikely to ever give up its entire nuclear arsenal.

KCNA, referring to US fears of the North's weapons, said if this week's talks ended without results, "the US people will never be cleared of the security threats that threw them into panic".

 

 

 

   
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