North Korea criticize U.S. for misleading and provocative move

A clock above the central railway station in Pyongyang

A clock above the central railway station in Pyongyang Credit AFP

During last month's inter-Korea summit, South Korean President Moon Jae In gave North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a huge welcome, with an inspection of the honour guards and a sumptuous official dinner.

Last week, the President of the United States, Donald trump told reporters that the date and place of their meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN has already been determined and would be announced soon.

According to North Korea Times, a spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry told the state run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), "It would not be conducive to addressing the issue of the USA miscalculates the peace loving intention of the DPRK (North Korea) as a sign of "weakness" and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats". Experts said the regime's willingness to discuss denuclearization, however, was likely due to a combination of South Korean and Chinese diplomacy, combined with the worldwide sanctions Trump promoted.

"The U.S.is misleading public opinion, arguing as if the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] clarification of its intention for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula made through the Panmunjom Declaration adopted at the historic North-South summit is the result of sanctions and pressure", the Korean Central News Agency wrote Sunday, adding that the U.S.is trying to ruin the mood.

Trump naturally credits himself for the changes on the Korean Peninsula.

On Sunday, North Korean officials criticized claims that Trump's tough stance and push for global sanctions against Pyongyang were responsible for bringing Kim to the negotiating table.

The US Government is looking into reports that three Americans arrested in recent years in North Korea had recently been relocated from a labour camp to a hotel near Pyongyang, as expectations grow that they will be released before the summit.

But "it is also familiar ground for the North Koreans", according to Graham, having hosted earlier track-2, or backchannel, talks involving officials from the country.

Observers have said that holding the summit in Panmunjom would run the risk of shifting the focus from the more immediate USA concern of denuclearization to securing a peace deal for the Korean Peninsula.

In the article, an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson said the Trump administration "is deliberately provoking the DPRK" at the time when peace and reconciliation are being promoted in the wake of the inter-Korean summit. Other possible sites reportedly included Mongolia and Switzerland.

In a Korean language version of the statement, the foreign ministry also warned the US that it should not misjudge North Korea's recent diplomatic efforts as "weakness".

Trump has said that it was the US -led "maximum pressure" campaign that has brought the North to the negotiating table.

Japan "will never be able to set foot on (North Korea's) sacred land, even in 100 million years", the paper said in an online commentary.

Sources have speculated that Trump wants his talks with Kim to look as dramatic as that of the Moon-Kim meeting, according to The Korea Times.

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