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    U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose before their meeting during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019

    DPRK Attempting to ‘Pressure the US Back to Negotiations’ With Latest Threats

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    Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute, told Radio Sputnik on Friday that North Korea’s threat to suspend denuclearization talks with the US may be a response to unsuccessful talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

    On Friday, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told reporters that Kim was disappointed that a deal was not made with Trump in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in late February.

    ​The long-anticipated summit proved futile when the US refused to lift all economic sanctions against the country in exchange for North Korea giving up all of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. 

    "They wanted to denuke certain areas and I wanted everything… I did not want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program," Trump told Fox News last month when asked about points of contention in his talks with Kim.

    "We have no intention to yield to the US demands in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind," Choe told reporters Friday.

    In addition, Choe added that Kim would make an official announcement regarding his position on weapons testing in the near future, and that his relationship with the US president is "still good, and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful," Vox reported.

    "I think what North Korea is trying to do is pressure and respond to [US Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo and US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who made a radical shift to a hardline position. North Korea never really succumbs to threats, and I'm surprised it's taken them a while to respond to the hardline position," Chun, who is also a member of the Korean Peace Network, told Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker. 

    "What I think is happening, is North Korea is trying to pressure the US back to negotiations. On the other hand, North Korea has been known for [responding to] action [with] action. It may resume testing, which will then be unfortunate and also raise the stakes very high. But I think the bottom line here is that North Korea is responding to the hardline position and is still trying to [get] the diplomacy back," Chun added.

    On Friday, Choe also noted that Bolton and Pompeo "created the atmosphere of hostility and mistrust, and, therefore, obstructed the constructive effort for negotiations between the supreme leaders of North Korea and the United States," reported the Observer.

    "I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the US will eventually put the situation in danger," AP quoted Choe as saying.

    "I think Bolton has [the] obligation to advise [the US] president and also [to protect] the interest of the US. It seems like he's not even reading US intelligence community reports. They [US intelligence], a long time ago, concluded that North Korea will never [denuclearize] without commensurate or immediate concession in return. I think that is a pretty accurate assessment. Bolton, as the [US] national security adviser, should read [the US'] own intelligence report and advise the president accordingly," Chun told Sputnik.

    "With regard to South Korea's position, South Korea is at the moment in a very difficult position," Chun noted.

    Following denuclearization talks in February, South Korean President Moon Jae In's approval ratings dropped, according to a Realmeter survey released Thursday. 

    The poll, which surveyed about 1,500 adult South Koreans between Monday and Wednesday, found that the South Korean president's approval fell to 45 percent, the lowest it has been since he took office in May 2017.

    In 2018, Moon's approval ratings shot to over 70 percent following his historic meeting with Kim, the first of three inter-Korean summits. South Koreans expressed optimism at the prospect of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which has been divided into two countries with drastically different economic and political systems since 1948, Sputnik previously reported

    "That is, South Korea wants the US to give more flexibility to President Moon, specifically President Moon's vision, plan, for greater inter-Korean economic exchange and cooperation. In return, South Korea says… that if the US is not willing to provide lifting of economic sanctions, the US should support South Korea's role in inter-Korean economic exchange and cooperation. So, South Korea is in a difficult position. I think there are still many analysts in Korea that believe that [there should be a summit between] South Korea, North Korea and the US," Chun continued, also adding that denuclearization will take "enormous cooperation."

    Earlier this month, the South Korean National Intelligence Service reported that Pyongyang may be partially restoring its Dongchang-ri missile launch site, which it started demolishing last year. In addition, several US think tanks and South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that satellite pictures revealed that the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri, which Kim also pledged to dismantle at the summit with Trump in Singapore last year, is also being restored

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    Tags:
    nuclear weapons, summit, denuclearization, John Bolton, Hanoi, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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