North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that there is “no way” his nation will ever disarm its nuclear weapons first if it can’t trust Washington, CBS News informed.
“Without any trust in the U.S. there will be no confidence in our national security and, under such circumstances, there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” Ri said, his comments coming after U.S. President Donald Trump lauded the progress of the talks between the two sides.
Ri implored the U.S. to follow up on the promise made at the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim Jong-un, noting that it had been over one year since nuclear tests and rocket test launches have taken place.
Ri said that the North Korean leader had a “firm determination to turn the Korean Peninsula into a land of peace free of both nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.” Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the Security Council to pass a resolution commending the progress made and suggested that “modest steps” be taken to ease sanctions to encourage Kim Jong-un.
Washington had blamed Russia for skirting the sanctions and called for full implementation until full and verifiable denuclearization has taken place.
According to CBS News, Ri also bemoaned the fact that “the ‘UN Command’ in South Korea even showed alarming signs of hindering the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration between the north and south.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with North Korea’s envoy at the sidelines of the U.N. gathering and announced that he will travel to the North in October to prepare for the next Trump-Kim summit.