Pyongyang calls on Latin American nations to reject U.S. call for severing ties

by WorldTribune Staff, August 21, 2017

Latin American nations should not fall prey to the U.S.’s “coercive behavior” and should reject calls for them to sever relations with North Korea, a spokesperson for the North’s Foreign Ministry said.

Pyongyang said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s move to openly press Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Peru to cut off all ties with North Korea is an intervention in the countries’ internal affairs and a violation of international law.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks in Santiago, Chile on Aug. 16. / AP

During his visit to Santiago, Chile on Aug. 16, Pence said he made the request during a meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to “break all diplomatic and commercial ties” to North Korea.

Pence said he would ask the same of Peru, Mexico and Brazil.

“Such a coercive behavior has exhibited extreme selfishness and arrogance of the United States seeking to gain benefits from sacrificing all other parts of the world,” the spokesperson told the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The United Nations Security Council recently imposed tough new sanctions on the North over its nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions could cut Pyongyang’s annual export revenues by a third.

The unidentified North Korean spokesperson asked the Latin American countries to reject the U.S. demand, saying, “All countries will become victims of U.S. interventions in domestic affairs, if they comply with or tacitly approve the U.S.-sponsored UNSC sanctions.”

A second unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesperson also criticized UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for saying that the cause of escalated tension on the Korean Peninsula lies with the North.

“Recently, the U.N. secretary general made an absurd remark that the aggravation of tension on the peninsula was caused by the nuclear and missile development of the DPRK (North Korea),” the second spokesperson said.

“His remark is no more than a revelation of his ignorance on the essence of the nuclear issue. To make it clear, the root cause of the nuclear issue and the vicious cycle of aggravation of situation is the U.S. hostile policy and its nuclear threats against the DPRK.”

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