Sun, 08 Dec 2019

North Korea Out of 'Patience' with Washington

Voice of America
14 Nov 2019, 05:35 GMT+10

UNITED NATIONS - North Korea intensified its demand Wednesday that the United States take steps by the end of this year to normalize relations, saying it is out of patience with Washington.

"We, without being given anything, gave things the U.S. president can brag about, but the U.S. side has not yet taken any corresponding step," said the statement from North Korea's State Affairs Commission and circulated by its U.N. mission. "Now, betrayal is only what we feel from the U.S. side."

Diplomatic efforts to get North Korea to denuclearize have been largely stalled since a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February, which was cut short with no agreement.

Pyongyang is especially upset that the U.S. and South Korean militaries plan to hold joint aerial exercises next month. The Pentagon said the routine drills, which involve aircraft and fighter jets, would go ahead but be scaled back this year.

North Korea warned that such acts have put relations between the two countries "on the verge of a breakdown."

"Our official stand is that we can no longer remain an onlooker to such a reckless act of the U.S.," the statement said.

Since the two leaders met in Singapore at their first summit in June 2018, the U.S. has either suspended or scaled down the joint military exercises it holds with South Korea in order to enhance the atmosphere for denuclearization talks to continue.

North Korea says the U.S. move is a violation of the joint statement adopted at that summit.

"It is our intention and will to answer dialogue with dialogue and recourse to force in kind," the statement said. "To look back on the past hours which we let them pass with patience, we no longer feel the need to exercise any more patience."

North Korea wants international economic and trade sanctions imposed on it lifted in exchange for progress on the denuclearization file.

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