North Korean state media hit U.S. inaction during visit by Seoul leader

by WorldTribune Staff, September 18, 2018

While North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was making nice with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, state media in the North was blasting the United States for allegedly not following through on promises made in President Donald Trump’s June summit with Kim.

Kim regime mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun employed the familiar divide and conquer tactic in a Sept. 18 editorial titled “Who hampers the progress of talks”.

People in Seoul watch a televised broadcast in of the Korean leaders’ meeting in Pyongyang. / Reuters

“Responsibility for the DPRK-U.S. negotiations not progressing lies entirely with the United States,” the editorial said. “In particular, it is because the United States is not showing willingness to build trust by implementing what it has promised, including the declaration of the end of the war, but only insisting ‘abandonment of nuclear as the priority,’ saying other issues can be discussed after we implement ‘Complete, Verifiable, Irreversible Dismantlement.’ ”

The editorial said the U.S. has done little while North Korea has halted rocket and nuclear tests, abolished the Pyonggye-ri nuclear site, repatriating the remains on U.S. soldiers, and released U.S. citizens detained for committing what North Korea called “anti-republic hostile activities.”

The editorial appeared only in the Korean edition of Rodong Sinmun. The English edition on Sept. 18 carried an editorial titled “No Obstacle Insurmountable When All Koreans Pool Efforts,” where it said the two Koreas should work together to implement the April 27 Panmunjeom Declaration, “irrespective of their differing ideologies.”

The baseline of North Korean strategy has long been to diminish South Korea sovereignty, labeling it as a puppet of the United States with Pyongyang as the sole legitimate cultural and political capital of both Koreas.

Kim Jong-Un greeted Moon with a hug as the South Korean president arrived in Pyongyang on Sept. 18 for the third summit between the two this year.

Meanwhile, during a UN Security Council meeting called by the U.S. on Sept. 17, American Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused Russia of pressuring UN experts to alter a report on implementing sanctions against North Korea.

“Russia has engaged in a concerted campaign in the Security Council to cover up violations of sanctions, whether they’re committed by Russians or citizens of other states,” Haley said. “The United States has evidence of consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations.”

The U.S. this year said it has tracked at least 148 instances of illegal ship-to-ship transfers to smuggle refined petroleum products into North Korea. The U.S. estimates North Korea has imported 160 percent of the UN-set cap of 500,000 barrels in the first eight months alone but suggests North Korea may have actually obtained four times the limit.

Russia denied the U.S. accusations and claimed the work of the panel had become increasingly politicized.

“Our viewpoint was not taken into account, unsurprisingly, therefore we insisted on having our position reflected in the document,” Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said.

Haley responded, “Deny, distract and lie — we have heard this same song many times before.”

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