Kim Jong Un's 'bitter sorrow' after fatal China tourist crash
Apr 24, 2018, 10:35
Kim said that North Koreans saw the tragic accident as "their own misfortune" and his country will "take follow-up measures with utmost sincerity" to alleviate the pain of the bereaved families.
The South Korean Defense Ministry said in a statement it wanted to ease tensions and establish an environment for peace.
"What Kim means and what Trump means are two different things", Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state who was North Korea policy coordinator under Bill Clinton, said in an interview. Sherman noted their nuclear test site probably was on the verge of collapse in any event, and China - North Korea's only friend - was anxious about radiation coming over the border.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has met with China's ambassador at a hospital where Chinese tourists were being treated after a deadly bus crash.
North Korea's nuclear test site is still "fully operational" contrary to reports that it is near collapse, a United States website monitoring the reclusive regime said Monday. However, a final attempt by Bush to complete an agreement to fully dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program collapsed in December when the North refused to accept USA -proposed verification methods.
The KCNA report on Saturday said the tests are no longer needed because "the work for mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets was finished", while it did not say whether Pyongyang plans to give up its existing nuclear weapons.
North Korea's announcement came two days after President Donald Trump hosted Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. Economic, military and diplomatic pressure helped bring the North Koreans to the table, but reaching a successful agreement will require carrots as well as sticks.
China is the North's main political ally and largest trading partner.
Cheong Seong-chang, senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute south of Seoul, said Kim's decision to halt testing was a concession, of sorts, ahead of negotiations. That North Korea has stubbornly sought nuclear weapons and missile technology for the last couple of decades is largely a outcome of the United States' equally stubborn refusal to give in on the issues of a peace treaty and a security guarantee.
North Korean backing for denuclearisation of the peninsula has previously been code for the withdrawal of the 28,500 United States troops stationed in the South and Washington's nuclear umbrella over its ally - seen as a non-starter for the US.
The broadcasts were stopped at midnight, the defence ministry said, without specifying whether they would resume after the Kim-Moon summit.
The United States, through the United Nations, has pursued a series of ever-tightening sanctions on North Korea aimed at cutting its access to foreign currency.
Sullivan made the call at a foreign ministerial meeting of the Group of 7 nations as they wrapped up their discussions on the situations in North Korea, Syria and Russian Federation on Monday in Toronto, Canada.
Kim has an interest in making his meeting with Moon a success.
After months of fiery negotiations, North Korea accepted a deal in September 2005 to end its nuclear weapons program in exchange for security, economic and energy benefits. None of these cases are directly applicable to North Korea, which advanced further and with greater zeal than any of the others.
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