Monday, 01 June, 2020

North Korea Threatens Increased Provocations Following Breakdown in Nuclear Talks

South Korea Koreas World Cup Qualifier North Korea Threatens Increased Provocations Following Breakdown in Nuclear Talks
Deanna Wagner | 11 October, 2019, 21:34

"The U.S., which begs for working-level negotiations with the DPRK and says... that the results of the talks were positive even though they broke off the negotiations empty-handed, has turned around and encouraged its followers to issue a statement condemning us", it said.

The United States and North Korea held a working-level meeting last week to resume their denuclearization negotiations after months of a stalemate, but the talks broke off again with the North accusing the USA of failing to come up with a new proposal.

Five European members of the U.N. Security Council met on Tuesday to urge North Korea to take "concrete steps" towards giving up its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

South Korea's Korea Football Association said last month it had been informed by the Asian Football Confederation that North Korea will host its Group H game against the South as scheduled.

North Korea's ambassador to the UN in the run-up to that meeting said the US was likely "behind the impure moves" of the European Union nations, warning that such talks would strengthen "our desire to defend our sovereignty".

North Korea has conducted a series of short-range ballistic missile tests in the past months, followed by a test-firing of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) last week.

Some observers say North Korea's threat may be a tactic to pressure the USA into making concessions as a restart of nuclear and long-range missile tests would likely derail negotiations, deepen its worldwide isolation and further dim prospects for rebuilding its moribund economy.

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North Korea said it can make a response "on the same level" but is refraining from doing that because it's still unnecessary or premature to do so.

The KCNA statement, attributed to a Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, called that United Nations meeting a "severe provocation".

Washington has spent decades and billions of dollars developing technologies to try to stop an incoming ballistic missile, and said last week that it had tested an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM.

Pyongyang declared a moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests at the end of 2017, saying it had completed the development of the deterrent, which it says it needs to defend against a possible USA invasion.

However, North Korean officials have since threatened to resume the tests several times, amid the breakdown in talks.

During qualification for the 2010 World Cup, North Korea chose to host games against South Korea in Shanghai, refusing to hoist the South Korean flag and play the South Korean anthem on its soil.

The US test was "clearly carried out in order to pressure us", the North Korean spokesman said.