See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

North Korea playing hardball with nuclear weapons list

Kim Jong-un says he won’t submit the weapons list and presented several demands.


Written by

Updated: October 16, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un refused to submit a list of North Korea’s nuclear sites and inventory as requested by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during their talks in Pyongyang earlier this month, instead demanding a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War and the lifting of economic sanctions, Japanese, U.S. and South Korean sources with knowledge of U.S.-North Korean talks have told The Yomiuri Shimbun.

As the United States and North Korea remain divided over their key demands, the success of a second U.S.-North Korea summit likely depends on how much progress working-level officials can make in their immediate negotiations.

During their Oct. 7 meeting, Pompeo asked Kim to submit at least part of the nuclear list, a request the North Korean leader rejected, according to sources. “If we submit the list without first building mutual trust, the United States would only call it untrustworthy and demand we submit the list once again. If that were to happen, we would end up having a battle,” Kim was quoted as saying.

Kim insisted that it is necessary for the two countries to forge a relationship of trust before North Korea takes steps toward denuclearization.

“If a trusting relationship can be built between North Korea and the United States through a declaration of the end of the war, our denuclearization process will accelerate fast enough to eliminate U.S. concerns,” Kim added.

The North Korean leader also insisted that the United States lift economic sanctions against his country as a response to sincere steps Pyongyang has taken, such as the return of the remains of some of the U.S. servicemen who fought in the Korean War, according to sources.

Pompeo said his country could not accede to a declaration of the war’s end when North Korea had promised only to dismantle its nuclear facility in Yongbyon, northwest North Korea, in the Pyongyang joint statement on Sept. 19.

The secretary of state demanded North Korea abandon all its programs for weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons. He also said the United States would take steps North Korea considers reasonable — such as a declaration to end the Korean War — only if Pyongyang’s nuclear warheads, intercontinental ballistic missiles and mobile launch pads are either dismantled or moved outside the country, even if only a little, according to sources.

Pompeo also called for North Korea to allow U.S. experts and International Atomic Energy Agency officials to inspect the Yongbyon site because records of its nuclear activities should be examined before the facility is dismantled.

In response, Kim suggested that whether to accept inspections of the Yongbyon site should be discussed at working-level talks between the two countries, according to the sources.

The talks are expected to be held soon in Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered and will be led by Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for North Korea, and Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s vice foreign minister.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Is Kim Jong-un considering ‘new way’?

Post Hanoi summit failure, speculation grows on what new mode of defense may be. Following the failure to reach an agreement at last month’s summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, tension has been building between the two sides, threatening the negotiations that they have built over the past year. While the breakdown of their second meeting did not lead to a war of words, North Korea said it was considering suspending talks with the United States, while Washington accused Pyongyang of “not doing what it needs to do.” The communist leader warned in his New Year’s speech this year he would have to find a new way for defending the North if the US did not keep its promises. As the US appears to have no intention of taking the “commensurate measures” the North seeks for the denuclearization steps it has taken, speculation has grown as to whether


By The Korea Herald
March 20, 2019

Diplomacy

Opinion: Japan must return to being South-east Asia’s top trade partner

Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh called on Japan to return to Asean as its top investor, as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Veteran diplomats jousted at a public forum here over the question of whether Japan is sufficiently invested in South-east Asia, amid the former’s concerns about China’s growing influence in the region. Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh called on Japan to return to Asean as its top investor, as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. “You were Asean’s number one trade partner. Now you are number four. You were also number one in foreign direct investments. Now you are not. You have lost so much ground in South-east Asia,” he said.


By The Straits Times
March 20, 2019

Diplomacy

Malaysia detains 13 suspected militants

Six of them were involved in the Marawi siege in the Philippines. Thirteen suspected militants, including six pro-Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members allegedly involved in the deadly Marawi siege in southern Philippines, have been detained by Malaysian authorities. Malaysia’s national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said 12 Filipinos and a Malaysian were arrested on March 11 and 12 by police’s Counter Terrorism Division, with the help of Special Branch, Sabah police and elite multi-tasking special forces unit 69 Commando. “They were detained for their suspected involvement in several terror groups… either the ASG, Maute combatants or the Royal Sulu Force (RSF),” he said in a statement on Monday (March 18). “Some of them were also involved in giving protection to foreign terrorist fighters who are hiding in Sabah.” The first arrests, the Inspector-Genera


By The Straits Times
March 19, 2019

Diplomacy

South Korea says punishing women for abortion unconstitutional

The decision was made by the country’s National Human Rights Commission. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has delivered its opinion to the Constitutional Court that criminal penalties for women who undergo abortion, as well as doctors who perform them, are unconstitutional. The current law on abortion violates the right to self-determination, among others, the rights panel said Monday. Marking the first time the rights panel has ever expressed an official position on the highly volatile issue, it sent its statement to the court last week ahead of next month’s ruling on the constitutionality of the nation’s abortion laws.


By The Korea Herald
March 19, 2019

Diplomacy

Demonization of Huawei will prove to be a political farce

A China Daily editorial looks at the ongoing fracas involving tech giants Huawei. China’s Palace Museum signed an agreement on Friday with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to promote the use of its 5G telecommunications technology. With the new generation telecoms technology, the Forbidden City, which is the tourist site that welcomes the largest number of visitors in the world each year, will definitely provide state-of-the-art services. Supported by the much faster mobile network, the museum will likely be digitalized to such an extent that visitors thousands of miles away may be able to explore it in virtual reality. And those visiting it in person will be able to learn about the treasures it houses in greater detail with the aid of digital technology. In the past 20 years since the museum started to facilitate its work with digital technology, a lot of information about the cultural relics it preser


By China Daily
March 18, 2019

Diplomacy

Dialogue important after India-Pakistan crisis

As India and Pakistan wake up to the real possibilities of war, it is time to give dialogue another chance. Although the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff may have passed its immediate intensity, it is clear that the entire episode has left a slew of new worries for policymakers all over the world. It is crucial that lessons are learnt and crisis-handling procedures between the two countries put in place. Because there is no doubt that Pakistan and India were perilously close to war. In a digital age, resonating with the red noise of alternative facts fuelled by ultra-nationalisms, it was clear that the Modi regime’s need to bolster its flagging electoral ratings before an election took the Indian act of border incursion into Pakistan’s Ba


By Dawn
March 15, 2019