N. Korea Rules out Negotiations on Nukes

Elias Hubbard
November 19, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been known to overlook the country's humanitarian crisis, and frequently diverts the country's funds to finance its controversial missile program.

Meanwhile, the North Korean threat appears to be drawing Japan closer to its traditional regional rival, China.

In an interview with Reuters, North Korean Ambassador to the UN Han Tae-song brushed off the new sanctions the Trump administration has said it is preparing as well as the possibility of North Korea being added to a USA list of states sponsoring terrorism.

"This proposal is the most just, reasonable, and realistic for the time", was hammered Friday, the spokesman of the chinese diplomatic Geng Shuang.

Following Trump's visit to Japan, as part of his 12-day Asia tour, Japan announced additional sanctions on North Korean entities and individuals.

Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, was more circumspect: China "has practically no influence on the north korea policy".

"We expressed grave concern over the DPRK's ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical weapons, and ballistic missile technologies, which are in contravention of UNSC resolutions", the Asean chairman's statement read. The fact that Song has limited experience with North Korea and is a member of the Central Committee, which makes him lower in rank than Li Jianguo, the Politburo member who was dispatched as a special envoy in 2012, can be taken as a sign that ties between the two countries have frayed. But experts do not believe Song's visit will yield major breakthroughs. So the briefing aspect is largely a formality.

Regarding inter-Korean dialogue, Han said there won't be negotiations as long as there is a continuous hostile policy by the USA and as long as there are continued war games at North Korea's doorstep. So flashy breakthroughs on that front aren't likely.

Fuel and food supplies are increasingly scarce in North Korea.

"Our country plans ultimate completion of the nuclear force".

Since Song's visit follows on the heels of summits between South Korea and the U.S. and between the USA and China and since North Korea has now gone 63 days without launching a missile or committing another provocation, attention is turning to whether the visit will create an opportunity for shifting to a phase of dialogue between North Korea and the US.

Pyongyang and Washington are already in a war of words.

This came a week after Beijing played host to Mr Trump, who has called on Beijing to use its leverage as North Korea's top economic backer to pressure Mr Kim into giving up his quest for a nuclear weapon. A commentary Wednesday by the ruling party's Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Trump is "an old slave of money".

What Song returns with may hinge on how he can negotiate that minefield of tough talk.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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