External Affairs

North Korea’s Nuclear Programme Not Up For Negotiation, Ambassador Tells UN

People cheer as a missile is driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other high ranking officials during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

People cheer as a missile is driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other high ranking officials during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country’s founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

UN: North Korea‘s nuclear weapons programme will never be up for negotiation as long as the US government’s “hostile policy and nuclear threat continue,” Pyongyang’s deputy UN ambassador told UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

Guterres spoke by telephone with deputy ambassador Kim In Ryong on Tuesday, the North Korean mission to the UN said in a statement on Thursday. North Korea‘s UN ambassador Ja Song Nam is currently in North Korea, also known as DPRK.

“As long as the US hostile policy and nuclear threat continue, the DPRK … will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiation table or flinch an inch from the road chosen by itself, the road of bolstering up the state nuclear force,” Kim told Guterres according to an account of the phone call given by the North Korea UN mission.

Guterres said on Wednesday it was time to “dial down rhetoric and dial up diplomacy” on North Korea and that he had told Russia, Japan, the US, China and North and South Korea that he was available to help broker talks.

US President Donald Trump warned North Korea last week it would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the US, prompting North Korea to say it was considering plans to fire missiles towards Guam.

But North Korean media reported on Tuesday that Kim delayed the decision while he waited to see what the US did next, prompting Trump to praise Kim’s “wise” decision.

“As the US launched full-scale provocation against the DPRK across all fields of politics, economy and military, nothing can alter the will and resolve of the army and people of the DPRK to respond by taking resolute retaliatory measures,” Kim told Guterres according to the North Korean statement.

The UNSC unanimously a US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions onNorth Korea on August 5th that could slash by a third the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue.

Kim told Guterres the resolution “constitutes a flagrant infringement upon (North Korea‘s) sovereignty and an open challenge to it.”

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and the Security Council has ratcheted up the measures in response to five nuclear weapons tests and four long-range missile launches.

“The DPRK will make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crime it commits against the state and people of this country,” the North Korea UN mission said Kim told Guterres.

(Reuters)