See More on Facebook


Top NK official accuses US of aggravating tensions on peninsula

Talks between the two leaders of the US and DPRK have been stalled as Trump faces an onslaught at home.

Written by

Updated: October 30, 2019

North Korea on Tuesday continued to pressure Seoul and Washington, accusing the allies of raising tensions and saying their policies will determine the future of the peninsula.

Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Azerbaijan, Choe Ryong-hae, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, accused the US of aggravating the situation on the peninsula.

“The Korean Peninsula situation is at a critical juncture, whether the situation rides on the current of easing tensions to stable peace or a return to crisis,” Choe was quoted as saying by the North’s Rodong Sinmun.

Choe went on to say that the lack of progress in US-North Korea relations is caused by Washington’s “anachronistic hostile policies” that destabilize North Korea.

“Only when the US irreversibly withdraws hostile policies, can denuclearization discussions with the US be held.”

In his speech, Choe also criticized South Korea, saying inter-Korean relations would only improve if Seoul stops relying on foreign powers.

Choe’s remarks reiterate North Korea’s position, which has also been voiced by other high-level officials, including Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, according to Park Won-gon, a professor of international politics at Handong Global University

In a statement issued Sunday, Kim said the US has not met Pyongyang’s demands for a change in “calculation method” in negotiating with North Korea. Kim also claimed that the US was using “more cunning and wicked” methods to “crush” North Korea.

Kim’s statement went on to say that the good relationship between the North Korean and US leaders is the only thing keeping relations on track, but warned that their relationship is not a guarantee against deterioration of US-North Korea relations.

“The North has pressured the US since the Sweden talks, but there are no changes in US policies,” Park said.

As for the comments regarding the South, Park said that Choe appears to be expressing displeasure at Seoul’s inability to resume Kumgangsan tours and reopen the Kaesong industrial park.

“The message to the South is the same. In his New Year’s speech, Kim Jong-un said that he is willing to resume Kumgangsan and Kaesong (projects) unconditionally, as if doing (the South) a favor. But they are not something the South can do.”

Park added that the fact that Choe delivered the speech could have symbolic significance. As Choe is president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, his speech could be interpreted as Pyongyang stating that it will not engage in talks unless Washington changes its approach.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

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


No military exemption for BTS under new government proposal

Exemptions from mandatory military service to be reduced due to shortage of eligible population. K-pop group BTS will not be exempted from military duty, the government said Thursday, announcing a new amendment to the military service law. All able-bodied young Korean men are required to serve in the military for about two years, with limited exemptions offered for those with outstanding achievements in sports and arts that “raise the national profile,” under the Military Service Act. There have been criticisms that the exemption system is unfair in excluding pop musicians, such as the members of BTS, which has topped the Billboard 200 albums chart more than once.

By The Korea Herald
November 22, 2019


Local tourism hit hard by plunge in S. Korean visitors

South Korea and Japan are embroiled in a trade standoff which has extended to other realms of diplomacy. The decline in South Korean visitors to Japan continues unabated, spurred by the deterioration in bilateral relations. The number of South Koreans who visited in October fell 65 percent from a year earlier to a near-record low, and the number of foreign visitors to Japan overall also declined. This has dealt a significant blow to the aviation and tourism industries of both Japan and South Korea, and there are calls for Japan to increase the number of visitors from a wide range of regions to reduce its dependence on neighboring countries, which is greatly affected by political risks. Zero regular flights The international terminal at Oita Airport in Kunisaki, Oita Prefecture, was crowded with South Korean passengers until this summer. On Tuesday, however,

By The Japan News
November 22, 2019


China opposes passage of HK bill by US Senate

The bill criticizes the response to protesters in Hong Kong. China firmly opposes the passage of a Hong Kong-related bill by the United States Senate, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday, urging the US side to stop pushing the bill to become law and stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks in an online statement after the US Senate passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Tuesday. Noting the act ignores facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, Geng said it is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China condemns and firmly opposes it, he said, adding that the country will take strong countermeasures to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests if the

By China Daily
November 21, 2019


Trade disputes between Korea and Japan show no sign of abating

President Moon Jae-in blames Japan’s export controls for GSOMIA withdrawal. Escalating trade tension between South Korea and Japan shows no sign of abating as two rounds of bilateral talks to resolve disputes triggered by Japan’s export curbs could not reach common ground. On Tuesday, the two neighboring nations held the second round of talks at the World Trade Organization in Geneva after failing to reach a consensus at the first consultations on Oct. 11. “During two rounds of six-hour intensive consultations, the two nations became more aware of each other’s measures and positions in the process. But we don’t think the two sides have changed their positions,” Chung Hae-kwan, director general in charge of legal affairs at the Trade Ministry, told reporters at a press briefing in Geneva following a meeting with his Japanese counterparts on Tuesday. “We pointed out that Japan’s exp

By The Korea Herald
November 21, 2019


PM Imran welcomes release of 2 hostages by Taliban in Afghanistan

Pakistan has stakes in any high level talks between the Taliban and the United States. The Taliban insurgents released two Western hostages — Kevin King from the United States and Timothy Weeks from Australia — on Tuesday in a prisoner exchange deal with the Afghan government, two Afghan officials said. “This morning at around 10am two American University professors were released in Nawbahar district of Zabul province. They were flown out of Zabul by American helicopters,” a local police source said. “The two professors are safely freed and are being taken care of now,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. The American and Australian were exchanged with three Taliban leaders, including key militant figure Anas Haqqani, added Reuters. Three Taliban sources in the province also confirmed the release. There was, h

By Dawn
November 20, 2019


Beijing’s comments on HK court decision could signal direct intervention

Beijing has rejected a Hong Kong court decision. China has firmly rejected the Hong Kong High Court’s decision to overturn a controversial mask ban aimed at quelling violent protests, prompting experts to say the central government could soon act to ensure its constitutional authority over Hong Kong is not challenged. China’s Parliament and Cabinet both issued statements early on Tuesday (Nov 19) morning that the ruling challenged the authority of both the Hong Kong authorities and the central government. The response came a day after the city’s High Court ruled that th

By The Straits Times
November 20, 2019