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Pompeo Urges Kim Jong-un to Keep Moratorium on Nuclear, Missile Tests

Write: 2019-03-16 10:15:12Update: 2019-03-16 13:14:34

Pompeo Urges Kim Jong-un to Keep Moratorium on Nuclear, Missile Tests

Photo : KBS

Anchor: Washington has responded to a news conference held by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, during which she said Kim Jong-un will soon decide whether to continue nuclear negotiations with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. expects Kim to live up to his promise not to resume nuclear or missile testing.
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: 

[Nat sound: US State Department Press briefing (Mar. 15)]
Reporter: What’s the next step, then? Because there has also – she also hinted that Kim Jong-un would make a statement possibly lifting the moratorium on tests.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his government hopes to continue nuclear negotiations with North Korea.

[Sound bite: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo]
"I saw the remarks that she made. She left open the possibility that negotiations would continue for sure. It’s the administration’s desire that we continue to have conversations around this."

During a briefing on Friday, the top diplomat responded to North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui's news conference overnight. She said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will soon decide whether to continue dialogue as well as his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests. 

[Sound bite: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo]
"I can say only this: In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the president and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing, nor would he resume missile testing. So that’s Chairman Kim’s word. We have every expectation that he will live up to that commitment."

The North Korean diplomat also blamed Secretary Pompeo and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, claiming they created an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust that thwarted the Hanoi talks

[Sound bite: N. Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui (Mar. 15, Pyongyang/Korean)]
"The United States showed no sincerity toward improving the DPRK-U.S. relations or fulfilling the joint statement the two countries signed in Singapore. Instead, it intended to use the (second) meeting to serve its political purposes."
"This bad attitude on the U.S. part will put the situation in danger. Our supreme leader will soon announce his decision (on what measures the DPRK will take)." 

[Sound bite: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo]
(Reporter: Sir, do you think the attacks on you personally made by the North Koreans will hamper your ability to continue negotiations? 
"Yeah. Well first, they’re wrong about that, and – I was there. I have – my relationship with Kim Yong-chol is professional. We have detailed conversations. I expect that we will continue to do that. He’s the counterpart that the North Koreans have put forward for me. It’s not the first time – I have a vague recollection of being called “gangster-like” from a visit that I took one time previously, and following that we continued to have very professional conversations where we tried our best to work together and represent our respective sides. I have every expectation that we’ll be able to continue to do that."

Bolton also dismissed the accusation.

[Sound bite: US Nat'l Security Adviser John Bolton]
(Reporter: North Korea, one of their top officials said you and the Secretary of State created an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust that thwarted the Hanoi talks. What's your response?)
"Well, I think that's inaccurate. But, the president is our decision maker I've seen the statement you're referring to just within the past hour. I've spoken to my South Korean counterpart and we've discussed their reaction and our reaction. But I'd like to speak further within the U.S. government before we respond. Thank you very much." 

Pompeo said that sanctions on North Korea call for complete denuclearization, stressing that’s the requirement laid out by the United Nations Security Council.

Experts predicted that Kim could issue his statement in April when the Supreme People's Assembly and a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party are scheduled. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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