Having been involved in a tug-of-war with the United States, North Korea responded in a stringent position Tuesday, maintaining that a war-ending declaration is not a subject of negotiations. Washington and Pyongyang have been arguing over denuclearization and corresponding measures, war-ending declaration. According to analysts, the North’s response is intended to lay the foundation to call on further corresponding measures including a lessening of North Korea sanctions; and to get the upper hand before the upcoming round of negotiation begins.
North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency commented on the same day that an end of war is not a gift that one gives to the other, and furthermore, it is not a bargaining chip that can be exchanged with denuclearization. The news agency added that if Washington does not wish an end of war, Pyongyang would not go the extra mile. It seems that the North has changed its tactics to playing hard to get, from pressuring Washington to declare an end of war - a mere political statement, as the North puts it.
Also, the North Korean media expressed its complaints about talks of submission of a nuclear report, verification and decommissioning of nuclear and missile facilities including the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, which the North has to carry out in exchange for war-ending declaration. It criticized the situation as a downright nonsensical sophistry and a ridiculous farce. In particular, it added that the nuclear research center in Yongbyon is the core of the North’s nuclear plans.
Diplomatic experts say that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is ready to visit Pyongyang anytime once the timing with the North is agreed. However, the U.S. administration takes a serious and careful approach to the issue of the North’s denuclearization. It intends to hold a second U.S.-North Korea summit only when Mr. Pompeo confirms the North Korean leader’s determination to denuclearization. There is a possibility that Pyongyang will not make any significant promises during negotiations, which runs counter what it has told, according to a source from Washington.
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