Washington was playing a “double game”, said a lengthy commentary carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, and was “little short of destroying” the rare diplomatic opportunity between the two.
“Hostile policy and reciprocity can not go together,” it said, and negotiations would not move forward “an inch with an obstacle called sanctions. The US… is responding to good faith with evil,” it added.
“The South and North reached the agreement after sincerely discussing action plans to develop inter-Korean relations to a new, higher stage,” said a joint statement released by the South’s Unification Ministry.
They agreed to hold ceremonies in late November or early December to inaugurate work on reconnecting the railways and roads that have been cut since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Pompeo met with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang on Sunday to rekindle stalled denuclearisation talks following a landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore.
“Chairman Kim said he’s ready to allow them to come in” and see the dismantled Punggye-ri nuclear test site, Pompeo said.
The North Korea’s official news agency issued a commentary claiming North Korea has taken significant measures to end hostile relations between the two countries but said the U.S. is “trying to subdue” it through sanctions, a not-so-subtle call for Washington to lift sanctions if it wants further progress in their stalled nuclear negotiations.
Ri Yong Ho told the world body’s annual General Assembly that North Korea had taken “significant goodwill measures” in the past year, such as stopping nuclear and missiles tests, dismantling the nuclear test site, and pledging not to proliferate nuclear weapons and nuclear technology.
“However, we do not see any corresponding response from the U.S.. Without any trust in the U.S. there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first.”
“I aim to have lots of heart-to-heart talks with Chairman Kim Jong Un,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said during a meeting with top advisers, according to his office. “What I want to achieve is peace. I mean irreversible, permanent peace that is not shaken by international politics.”
North and South Korea opened a joint liaison office in the Northern city of Kaesong on Friday as they knit closer ties ahead of President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Pyongyang next week.
“A new chapter in history is open here today,” South Korean unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a ceremony, calling the office “another symbol of peace jointly created by the South and the North”.
Thousands of North Korean troops followed by artillery and tanks paraded through Pyongyang Sunday as the nuclear-armed country celebrated its 70th birthday, but it refrained from displaying the intercontinental ballistic missiles that have seen it hit with sanctions. “It looks like the North Koreans really tried to tone down the military nature of this,” said Chad O’Carroll, managing director of Korea Risk Group.
Kim Jong Un has confirmed his readiness to visit Russia, the RIA news agency quoted speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament Valentina Matvienko as saying after she met the North Korean leader in Pyongyang on Saturday. Kim “wants peace”, Russian parliament Valentina Matvienko said after the meeting, which lasted for more than an hour. The timing and place of Kim’s visit will be agreed via diplomatic channels, the Russian lawmaker added.