North Korea has denounced the new sanctions imposed against it by the United States, accused of wanting to “block forever” the denuclearization of the peninsula.
The United States has just sanctioned three North Korean leaders, including one of the highest ranking officials of the regime ranked by US diplomacy among “the worst in the world” for human rights.
These measures, essentially symbolic because the recluse regime is already subject to multiple international sanctions, are being taken while nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington are again at a standstill.
US President Donald Trump, however, continues to discuss a new tete-a-tete with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for early 2019, after their historic Singapore summit in June.
In a statement issued by North Korea’s KCNA on Sunday, the North Korean Foreign Ministry salutes Trump’s efforts to improve bilateral relations, but accuses the US State Department of “wanting at all costs” the “bring back to what they were last year, marked by exchanges of fire”.
Washington would commit “a huge miscalculation” if it believes it can force the North to give up its nuclear arsenal through pressure and sanctions, adds the text signed by the director of political research of the Institute of American Studies Ministry. “This will forever block the path of denuclearization of the peninsula”.
In Singapore, MM. Trump and Kim were committed to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, without further details on the method, leaving room for all interpretations.
Since then, Washington has demanded the denuclearization of the North before sanctions are lifted, while Pyongyang has condemned the “gangster methods” of Americans accused of demanding unilateral disarmament without making concessions.
The latest sanctions were taken on the basis of a regular State Department report to the US Congress, focusing on the lack of independent media and freedom of expression in North Korea.
“Human rights violations in North Korea remain among the worst in the world and include extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence,” US diplomacy denounces.
Among the three leaders targeted, the director of the Organization’s Korean Workers Party, Choe Ryong Hae, is considered one of Kim’s closest associates.