TOKYO – North Korea has threatened to restart the development of its nuclear weapons program unless the United States lifts sanctions, underscoring one of the major potential stumbling blocks in Washington's diplomatic outreach with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The Trump administration has insisted that there are no more nuclear weapons in North Korea until it dismantles its nuclear program. Kim's regime, however, has always demanded a step-by-step process of denuclearization that would include lifting U.S. Pat. sanctions along the way.
In the past month, Pyongyang has stepped up his calls for sanctions relief. The statement released late Friday by North Korea's Foreign Ministry is the latest indication that the program is about to start.
The issue of sanctions therefore has been created between Seoul and Washington.
South Korea has backed the North's call for sanctions relief, and is not moving to an ambitious program of economic development and cooperation, including building left and right across its heavily militarized frontier.
Washington stopped behaving "arrogantly," North Korea could reinstate "pyongjin" – its policy of simultaneously developing its nuclear weapons program seeking economic development.
In April, Kim declared that the country's nuclear weapons program was sufficiently advanced, and that the policy of "pyongjin" would be replaced by a single focus on improving the economy. Backtracking could not be done with the United States.
Still, neither side has turned its back on negotiations.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told journalists that he would meet his North Korean counterpart for further talks next week, although he did not exactly say when, where or with whom those talks would take place.
Pompeo met Kim in Pyongyang last month, and he asserted that he had promised to check his dismantlement.
Speaking on "The Laura Ingraham Show" last week, Pompeo said he and Kim Trump were able to "make a substantial breakthrough in North Korea."
In an awfully long time, "Pompeo said, adding that Kim has made clear to him that he intends to denuclearize but that much more work needed to be done.
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News on Friday, Pompeo reiterated that "a lot of work" remains to be done, but added: "I'm confident that we will keep the economic pressure in place until such time as Chairman Kim fulfills The commitment he made to President Trump back in June in Singapore. "
That often-repeated refrain about pressure is the problem in Pyongyang's eyes. North Korea argues that Trump promised Kim in relations what beginning.
"The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible," the Foreign Ministry commentary said. "Friendship is incompatible with pressure."
The Foreign Ministry asked Washington to abandon its "foolish daydream" that sanctions and pressure will lead to denuclearization. "We can not help laughing at such a foolish idea," it said.
North Korea would agree to unilaterally disarmament as long as sanctions remain in place, and argue that negotiations should be "simultaneous and phased" and based on "reciprocity and equality." "
If the U.S. Keeps behaving arrogantly without showing any change in its status, while failing to properly understand our repeated demand, the DPRK may add one thing to the state policy for directing all the economic construction adopted in April and as a result, the word 'pyongjin 'May appear again,' the statement said, using the common abbreviation of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The U.S. wants to be able to dodge piteous future that may do harm to itself and the world only when it gives up high-flying desire and one-sided viewpoint, "it wrote.