Pyongyang: US misuses sanctions as tools for meeting party interests

Pyongyang: US misuses sanctions as tools for meeting party interests

North Korea’s government news agency published a piece Tuesday condemning the United States yet again for refusing to lift sanctions on the rogue state, calling American officials “stubborn” and arguing that sanctions “are misused as tools for meeting party interests” in America.

As Breitbart writes in the article North Korea: U.S. Must Stop Being ‘Stubborn’ with Sanctions, Help Our Economy, the Trump administration has insisted that it will not lift sanctions on North Korea, currently at unprecedented levels, until Pyongyang agrees to completely dismantle its illegal nuclear weapons program and proves that it has irreversibly done so. The government of communist dictator Kim Jong-un, aided by allies in China and Russia, has instead demanded that the United States lift some sanctions as North Korea issues concessions at their leisure.

“If the U.S. intends to be stubborn in its sanctions, which means to continue to pursue hostile policy, is the Singapore Joint Statement which promised to end the extreme hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and to open up new future of any worth?” the newspaper asked.

The “Singapore Declaration” is a joint statement President Donald Trump and Kim signed during their first-ever meeting in that country. The statement deliberately featured few specifics on what the two states promised each other, but both committed “to establish[ing] new U.S. – DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the population of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.”

The KCNA commentary insisted that it had been “quite a long period” since the last North Korean nuclear weapon test – a little more than a year – and that the United States lifting sanctions would be a “natural” step in light of this reality.

“It is an undeniable reality that denuclearization and sanctions are misused as tools for meeting party interests and strategies of the political forces within the U.S., not to solve bottleneck problems between the DPRK and the U.S. to even a certain extent,” the column concluded.

Elsewhere in North Korean state media, KCNA published a story Tuesday attacking South Korean conservatives, and in particular the right-wing Liberty Korea Party, for warning against concessions to the communist regime without beneficial incentives for South Korea. The complaints echoed those that Pyongyang appears to have against the Trump administration.

“As a leopard cannot hide its spots, the ‘Liberal Korea Party’ of south Korea is stilling going mischievous against the current of the times,” KCNA warned. For the conservative party to warn against “obedience to the north” on the part of leftist President Moon Jae-in was “utterly ridiculous,” KCNA alleged. “The ill-intended behavior of the ‘Liberal Korea Party’ is just a grumble and last-ditch effort of those who were left alone after being nudged out of the historical trend toward national reconciliation, unity, peace and reunification.”

Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean government, dedicated its coverage Tuesday to condemning capitalism as “a reactionary society with degenerate people.” “Capitalist society, plagued by all sorts of social evils based on the jungle law, is a rotten and ailing society on the deathbed without future,” the newspaper alleged in a piece titled “Socialism Is Far Superior to Capitalism.”

The adamant rejections of demands on the part of the United States in exchange for sanctions relief follow the publication of a report Monday suggesting that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo managed to achieve little in his latest visit to Pyongyang this month. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun claimed this week that Kim Jong-un refused Pompeo’s demand for “at least a partial” inventory of North Korea’s illegal nuclear assets, demanding instead a formal end to the Korean War. The war began in 1950 and hostilities ceased as a result of an armistice treaty in 1953, but the absence of a peace treaty means North and South Korea, China, and the United States are still technically at war.

Formally ending the war would call into question the presence of American troops on the Korean peninsula. An unnamed source further told the newspaper that Kim “presented Pompeo with the option of lump verification after completing denuclearization if the U.S. takes corresponding steps in stages. But Pompeo refused.”

In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, President Donald Trump insisted that the United States would not lift sanctions or support the lifting of international sanctions without full dismantlement of the nuclear program. “This isn’t the Obama administration. I haven’t eased the sanctions,” Trump said.