North Korea threatens to kill nuclear talks over human rights sanctions

North Korea threatens to kill nuclear talks over human rights sanctions

Kerry Wise
December 17, 2018

Instead, according to a Reuters report, the statement credited the president for his "willingness" to improve relations with the North, even as it accused the State Department of being "bent" on bringing relations "back to the status of past year which was marked by exchanges of fire".

But, despite many predictions from outside experts that he wouldn't be up to the task, Kim Jong Un has managed to consolidate power, bolster the country's economy in the face of intense global sanctions and attain a goal his father and grandfather could only dream of - he is the first North Korean leader to possess an arsenal of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles capable of reaching the United States.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a constructions site of Yangdeok, in this undated photo released on October 31, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

According to the report, North Korea has been transferring oil from tankers to smaller vessels at sea, to smuggle it back to North Korean territory without being detected. It then issued a stark warning, saying, if the US failed to pull back its sanctions against the regime, it will "block the path to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula forever - a result desired by no one".

Sunday's developments came as North Korea marked the seventh anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il with visits to statues and vows of loyalty to his son and successor, Kim Jong-un.

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In a statement carried on the official state media, North Korea's foreign ministry denounced new USA sanctions, including the listing of one of Kim Jong-un's right-hand men.

The nuclear talks, however, have stalled, with Pyongyang demanding sanctions relief and Washington wanting North Korea to take more concrete steps towards denuclearisation.

It was the leader's first public activity in two weeks after visiting a shoe factory in Wonsan earlier this month.

It said if Washington continues to escalate its sanctions and human rights campaign against the North, . the approach could permanently end any chance of denuclearizing the regime.

"[Trump] avails himself of every possible occasion to state his willingness to improve DPRK-U.S. relations", the statement read, using the abbreviation of the country's official name - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Such restrictions may have little effect on individuals in one of the world's most closed countries but have symbolic impact as North Korea seeks greater acceptance by the United States.