North Korea says it’s gained nothing from US but 'betrayal'

The diplomatic assessment of relations between the US and North Korea does not make de-nuclearisation look likely in the short-term

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
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North Korea’s UN Mission said on Friday the country has gained “nothing but a sense of betrayal” since its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump committed to establishing a new relationship.

The mission said in a summary of its assessment of North Korea-US relations obtained by The Associated Press that “indignation of our people has culminated” and “the currently imbalanced situation can no longer be allowed”.

Since the US has failed to take reciprocal measures to North Korea’s suspension of “a number of actions” which the Trump administration is concerned about, the mission said there is no reason for further restraint.

“We have no leeway any longer,” the North Korean mission said.

“It is quite natural for us to bolster our capabilities in order to undercut visibly growing threats obstructing our security and development,” the mission said. “Nobody has the right to find fault with or to interfere with it.”

US-led diplomacy aimed at ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons has largely been deadlocked since the February collapse of a summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. The North Korean leader has demanded the US come up with new, acceptable measures to salvage the nuclear talks by the year’s end and Pyongyang has been stepping up its pressures on Washington to make bigger concessions.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday he does not regret postponing a US-South Korean military exercise, even though the gesture was rejected by North Korea as not enough to restart nuclear diplomacy.

The U.S. and South Korea announced on Sunday they had indefinitely postponed the annual Vigilant Ace aerial training as part of efforts to revive the nuclear talks. North Korea has called all military exercises a rehearsal for an invasion and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol said on Tuesday the US must scrap that military drill completely and abandon its hostility against his country if it wants to see the resumption of the nuclear negotiations.

North Korea wants the US to lift major international sanctions on it and provide security assurances before it fully abandons its nuclear arsenal. But the US has maintained sanctions would stay in place until North Korea takes serious steps toward de-nuclearisation, a position supported by Britain and France, also veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council.

North Korea has suspended nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and returned the remains of American soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean war. The mission said Trump is “touted as a hero” for the repatriation of the remains “however, we have nothing in return.”

“At the moment, the US is obsessed with playing for time to follow through its domestic political calendar by abusing our patience and magnanimity,” the mission said. “As time goes by, the US is becoming increasingly hell bent on sanctions aimed at interrupting our right to development as well as military threats to our security in pursuit of its hostile policy” against North Korea.