PYONGYANG, North Korea - Amid increasing threats, North Korea has said that it will never agree to any sort of nuclear deal with Washington.
In a statement issued on Russian state-run media, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said that as long as the United States keeps applying pressure, it won’t agree to any deal.
He said that U.S. President Donald Trump has “lit the fuse of war” with his “belligerent and insane statement” at the United Nations General Assembly.
On September 19, Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” in an address to the UNGA.
The same week, Yong-ho, who also addressed the General Assembly, told reporters in New York that the U.S. president has “declared war on our country,” leading to a war of words between the American leader and Pyongyang over the past month.
Yong-ho said that North Korea has “nearly achieved the final point on the way to our ultimate goal, to achieving a real balance of force with the United States. Our nuclear weapons will never be a subject matter of negotiations as long as the United States’ policy of pressure on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] has not been uprooted once and for all.”
According to the news agency, the top North Korea diplomat met with a delegation that was led by Sergey Mikhailov, director general of Tass, in Pyongyang at the invitation of the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.
The North Korean Foreign Minister emphasized that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s warning for the United States to “act sensibly and stop troubling us” if it does not want to face a strike by the regime, adding that the United States will not “go unpunished.”
The report noted that Kim Jong Un is said to have emphasized at the 7th Congress of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party that nuclear weapons are necessary for “protecting the destiny and sovereignty of our motherland from American nuclear threats.”
Yong-ho said that it is Washington’s “turn to pay” and that the North Korean military servicemen and people “insistently demand that final scores be settled with the Americans only with a hail of fire, and not with words.” Meanwhile, China and Russia have called for a “double freeze,” whereby North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for South Korea and the United States halting their joint military exercises, to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.
Washington has however rejected the offer.
Earlier this month, Yong-ho was promoted as a member of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party’s Central Committee.
He has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “also acknowledged that the [North] Koreans will never give up nuclear weapons, even if they eat the grass, and stressed that the sanctions and the military hysteria won’t bring anything good.”
He further added that North Korea sees “no prospect for improving the inter-Korean relations” as long as Seoul continues to resort to sanctions and a pressure campaign in line with the United States.