N.Korea Demands Regime Security, Lifting of Sanctions

  • By Cho Yi-jun, Yoon Hyung-jun

    September 17, 2019 14:10

    North Korea has called for "threats and hurdles" to its security to be removed as a precondition to denuclearization talks.

    In a statement carried Monday by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the regime's American affairs chief at the Foreign Ministry said that the talks with the U.S. could resume in a "few weeks."

    But the statement said, "The discussion of denuclearization may be possible when threats and hurdles endangering our system security and obstructing our development are clearly removed beyond all doubt."

    By that it seemed to mean regime security guarantees and a halt to the deployment of U.S. strategic assets in South Korea, as well as the lifting of sanctions. The statement added, "Whether the [North Korea]-U.S. negotiations will be a window for chance or an occasion to precipitate crisis is entirely up to the U.S."

    Pyongyang has already started a war of nerves ahead of negotiations now that White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has been fired.

    Trump said Bolton had to go because he proposed a "Libyan model" for denuclearization, which in light of what happened to Libyan strongman Col. Gaddafi was a "disaster."

    Monday's statement seemed aimed at accumulating justification in advance in case the working-level talks break down again. But regime security is an even taller order than lifting sanctions, which derailed the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February. 

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