North Korea warns it won't negotiate nukes if US is hostile
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - North Korea warned the United States that it will never put its nuclear weapons program on the negotiating table as long as the Trump administration keeps up its "hostile policy and nuclear threat."
The warning came from North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador Kim In Ryong in the transcript of his conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday. The transcript was sent to The Associated Press on Thursday by North Korea's U.N. Mission.
Guterres' remarks were not included but the U.N. chief told reporters Wednesday that he had spoken to the North Koreans and the five other parties in talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program that have been stalled since 2009.
The secretary-general warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula are at their highest level in decades and said it's important now "to dial down the rhetoric and to dial up diplomacy."
Ambassador Kim repeated to the secretary-general the decision by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to hold off on launching missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam.
The North Korean leader "said that the U.S. imperialists put their own necks into the noose through their reckless military confrontation racket, adding that he would watch a little longer the conduct of the foolish and stupid Yankees," the ambassador told Guterres.
Ambassador Kim reiterated his leader's demand that the U.S. immediately stop its "arrogant provocation" and its "extremely dangerous actions around the Korean Peninsula," including deploying "huge nuclear strategic equipment."
"In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, it is necessary for the U.S. to make a proper option first and show it in action," the ambassador said.
President Donald Trump last week declared the U.S. military "locked and loaded" and said he was ready to unleash "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, said Wednesday the U.S. wants to peacefully resolve tensions with North Korea, but is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities.
If the U.S. persists and tests the North's "self-restraint," the ambassador said his country will "make a crucial decision as it had already declared."
Ambassador Kim accused the United States of instigating the latest U.N. sanctions against North Korea to "isolate and stifle" the country and completely block its economic development and improve "the people's livelihood."
He told Guterres the Security Council resolution, adopted unanimously on Aug. 5, is "more heinous than ever, placing a total ban even on normal trade and economic exchanges" with his country, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The resolution imposes the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea including banning all exports of coal, iron, lead, and fish and seafood products valued at $1 billion - about a third of the country's total exports.
"As long as the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat continue, the DPRK, no matter who may say what, will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiation table or flinch an inch from the road chosen by itself, the road of bolstering up the state nuclear force," ambassador Kim said.