The announcement by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon on Friday came on the second anniversary of the first-ever summit between President Donald Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong-un.
Ri said Pyongyang’s secure strategic goal “is to build up a more reliable force to cope with the long-term military threats from the US.”
Kim and Trump met in Singapore on June 12, 2018, after which the North took several unilateral measures towards denuclearization in a goodwill gesture not reciprocated by the US.
In the wake of the summit, Pyongyang demolished a nuclear test site and suspended its missile and nuclear tests, which have long been the target of harsh unilateral US sanctions.
Trump, who has since met with Kim three times, has so far refused to relieve any of the harsh sanctions on the North.
“The question is whether there will be a need to keep holding hands shaken in Singapore when there is nothing of factual improvement to be made,” asked the North Korean foreign minister.
Ri said that there is no use in simply “maintaining personal relations between our supreme leadership and the US President.”
“Never again will we provide the US chief executive with another package to be used for (political) achievements without receiving any returns. Nothing is more hypocritical than an empty promise.”
She said the past two years of diplomacy has only showed that Washington continues to pursue “regime change” in Pyongyang and threatens the North with the prospects of a pre-emptive nuclear strike and “isolation and suffocation.”
The two leaders met for the last time last June at the inter-Korean border, but a subsequent working-level meeting broke down over the US’s “old stance and attitude.”
The North’s foreign minister made the remarks a day after it threatened to disrupt the US presidential election in November if Washington did not stay out of inter-Korean affairs.
US should take concrete steps: China
China on Friday called on the US to take concrete measures to address Pyongyang’s concerns.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said nuclear talks between the North and the US have reached a stalemate as “North Korea’s legitimate concerns have not been paid attention to or resolved and the actions that North Korea has taken on denuclearization have not been responded to.”
“Meanwhile, concrete actions are needed to increase mutual trust and break the stalemate,” she added.