US pressure harms peace, denuclearisation efforts: N.Korea

Pyongyang: North Korea on Sunday accused the US of pressurising it with the policy of maintaining sanctions on the regime and military threats, and warned that these measures will not contribute to denuclearisation or peace in the region.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson accused the US of “misleading the public opinion” by arguing that the willingness to denuclearise expressed by Pyongyang in the Panmunjom Declaration “is the result of pressure and sanctions”, reports Efe news.

Pyongyang referred to the joint declaration signed by Kim Jong-un and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the inter-Korean summit held on April 27 ahead of a planned meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

“The US is making open remarks that it would not ease the sanctions and pressure until North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons completely and also moving to aggravate the situation on the Korean peninsula by deploying strategic assets on the peninsula and increasing its attempt of taking up the ‘human rights’ issue against North Korea,” said the spokesperson.

He added that the US is deliberately provoking Pyongyang “at a time when the Korean peninsula is moving towards peace and reconciliation, thanks to the historic inter-Korean summit”.

The spokesperson stressed that the US should not misinterpret Pyongyang’s pacifist willingness as weakness, and warned that “it would not be conducive” to continue with its “pressure and military threats”.

In the Panmunjom Declaration, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to work to achieve the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula and also pledged to sign a multilateral agreement to formally end the Korean War (1950-53), which ended with an armistice, but not a peace treaty.