North Korea has warned that it may resort to revive a state policy to strengthen its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not ease the sanctions levied on the country.
A North Korea’s Foreign Ministry official announced that denuclearization talks going on between the two countries may get affected if the US doesn’t change its stance in removing the sanctions.
The statement comes ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled meeting with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, in New York this week.
During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Pompeo said the upcoming meeting with Kim Yong Chol would be “a good opportunity to continue the denuclearization discussions.” However, he did not reveal when and where the upcoming meeting will be held.
The meeting is expected to focus on persuading North Korea to take steps toward denuclearization and planning a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two leaders met in Singapore back in June this year to work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
Commenting on the warning issued by North Korea, Pompeo said he is not worried about any such warning.
“We are very focused,” Pompeo said. “We know with whom we are negotiating, we know what their positions (are) and President Trump has made his position very clear.”
He added that the US won’t be providing any economic relief until and unless it’s ultimate objective of North Korea’s denuclearization is achieved.
Notably, North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear weapons only after the US lifts up the sanctions levied on the country. On the other hand, the United States is only willing to remove the sanctions only after North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons.
“We haven’t had any missile tests. There’ve been no nuclear tests. We’ve had the returns of American remains. These are all good steps,” Pompeo said. “We’re continuing to negotiate with North Koreans.”