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The Series of Latest US Sanctions on North Korea Could Destabilize The Korean Peace Process

The Series of Latest US Sanctions on North Korea Could Destabilize The Korean Peace Process

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North Korea on Sunday condemned the Trump administration for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the nuclear-armed country, warning of a return to “exchanges of fire” and that peace with Pyongyang could be blocked forever.

The response came after the U.S. announced on Dec. 10 it had introduced sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, for alleged human rights abuses.
Denuclearizing North Korea has made little progress since Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump met in Singapore for a historic summit in June.

The two sides have yet to reschedule working-level talks between the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong-chol that were supposed to have taken place in New York in early November.

That meeting was postponed indefinitely after the two sides failed to find common ground over Pyongyang’s demand for sanctions relief and calls by Washington for progress on denuclearisation.

While crediting Trump for his “willingness” to improve relations with the North, also known as Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Pyongyang accused the State Department of being “bent on bringing the DPRK-U.S. relations back to the status of last year which was marked by exchanges of fire.”

North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Washington had taken “sanctions measures for as many as eight times against the companies, individuals and ships of not only the DPRK but also Russia, China and other third countries.”

If Washington believed that heightened sanctions and pressure would force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons, “it will count as [its] greatest miscalculation, and it will block the path to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula forever — a result desired by no one,” the statement added.

North Korea’s outburst came as it marked the seventh anniversary of the death of its former leader, Kim Jong-il, with vows of loyalty to his son Kim Jong-un. Tens of thousands of people in Pyongyang offered flowers and paid respects to the late leader at Mansu Hill, the location of huge statues of Kim Jong-il and his father and founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung.

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Balach Khan

Balach Khan is the Urdu editor at ProperGaanda and writes articles about Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues. Twitter: @alreadytakenwas

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