North Korea expressed commitment to “complete denuclearisation”

Vastavam web: North Korea has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula and has not attached conditions, South Korea’s president said on Thursday, but Washington remains wary and has vowed to maintain “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang.South Korean President Moon Jae-in said agreements about denuclearisation, establishing a peace regime and normalisation of relations between the Koreas and the United States should not be difficult to reach through a North-South summit next week, and a later summit planned between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

“They have not attached any conditions that the U.S. cannot accept, such as the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. All they are talking about is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security.”CIA Director Mike Pompeo met Kim this month to discuss a proposed summit with Trump and reported that the North Korean leader was not demanding the withdrawal of all U.S. forces as a precondition for the meeting, a U.S. official briefed on Pompeo’s trip told.

North Korea has defended its nuclear and missile programmes in the face of worldwide condemnation and sanctions as a necessary deterrent against perceived U.S. hostility.It has said over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.In a joint statement after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said the U.S. commitment to defend Japan “through the full range of U.S. military capabilities” was “unwavering”.

They reiterated their commitment to the “permanent and verifiable denuclearisation of North Korea” and the need for Pyongyang to abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, while vowing stepped up sanctions enforcement.South Korea announced on Wednesday it is considering how to change a decades-old armistice with North Korea into a peace agreement as it prepares for the North-South summit this month.

Moon said he saw the possibility of a peace agreement, or even international aid for North Korea’s economy, if it denuclearises.But he also said the inter-Korean summit had “a lot of constraints”, in that the Koreas could not make progress separate from the North Korea-United States summit, and could not reach an agreement that transcends international sanctions.Trump said on Wednesday that Pompeo formed a “good relationship” with Kim when he met him in Pyongyang and the U.S. President said he hoped the summit would be successful. But Trump warned he would call it off if he did not think it would produce results.

Trump told a joint news conference with Abe that his campaign of “maximum pressure” on North Korea would continue until Pyongyang gave up its nuclear weapons.In Geneva on Thursday, U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood told a news conference North Korea must show that it is “serious about getting rid of its nuclear weapons programme” and take “concrete steps”, adding: “We’ve got a long way to go”.

Ahead of next week’s summit, Seoul and Pyongyang will also complete the instalment of a telephone hotline between the two leaders on Friday, directly connecting the South’s presidential Blue House and the North’s State Affairs Commission, the South’s presidential spokesman said.Six top South Korean officials will accompany Moon to the summit, including his chief of staff, spy chief, national security adviser and unification, defence and foreign ministers, the spokesman said.North Korea meanwhile will hold a plenary meeting of its ruling party’s central committee on Friday, state media KCNA said on Thursday.