Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - North Korea expects tit-for-tat measures from US



North Korea expects tit-for-tat measures from US

North Korea expects tit-for-tat measures from US

NORTH Korea on Tuesday ruled out dismantling its nuclear arsenal in exchange for the US declaring an end to the Korean War, saying a peace treaty should “never be a bargaining chip”.

The North has for decades demanded that the US formally declare the end of the 1950-53 conflict that was halted only with an armistice, saying an official end to the war would ease tensions on the flashpoint peninsula.

At a summit with the South’s President Moon Jae-in last month, the North’s leader Kim Jong-un offered to shut down its main Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington takes “corresponding measures”.

Kim did not elaborate on what those measure might be, but state news agency KCNA said in a commentary that some US experts have suggested trading the end of the war for denuclearisation.

It flatly described that as only the “most basic . . . process” to restore ties, not a point for negotiation.

“The end of war . . . is not just a gift from a man to another at all. Furthermore, it can never be a bargaining chip for getting the DPRK denuclearised,” it said, using the North’s full name.

KCNA said Pyongyang was willing to take “such steps as eternal dismantlement” of its nuclear complex “if the US takes a corresponding measure” but again did not elaborate.

Cho Sung-ryul, analyst at the Institute of National Security Strategy, said the commentary may be aimed at limiting Washington’s room for manoeuvre.

“The North is trying to reduce the negotiating value of Washington’s potential offer of a peace treaty, by suggesting that ‘it’s not good enough to make us denuclearise’,” he told South Korea’s news agency Yonhap.

A landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in June led to a warming of ties, but there has been little concrete progress toward denuclearisation.

The North’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho also told the UN last month that there was “no way” his country would disarm first as long as the US pushes for tough enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.

Trump however lauded Kim, saying last week the pair had fallen “in love” – their bromance fuelled by “beautiful letters” he recently received from the young leader.

The ceasefire that halted the bloody conflict that sealed the division of the Korean peninsula was signed by the North, its military ally China and the US – which fought on the side of the South.

The South did not take part as its then-leader refused to end the war unless the whole peninsula was unified.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio