North Korea vows sanctions will ´never work´

Top US envoy for North Korea to retire after President Trump rejects talks without conditions
Reporter's Notebook: 'Missed opportunity' for US-North Korea talks during Olympic Games
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04 March, 2018

Yun abruptly announced his plan to retire by the end of the week, a departure that could undermine any chances of talks taking place, much less progress being made on curbing North Korea's nuclear programs.

While Vice President Mike Pence has said that the U.S.is ready to talk, President Donald Trump has made it clear that the US will only talk to North Korea under the right conditions.

Kang was addressing the UN Human Rights Council a day after the Olympic Winter Games closed in her country.

The top US diplomat for North Korea policy, Joseph Yun, announced his retirement this week at a time when the two sides have been exploring avenues for talks.

The comments came days after Trump unveiled what he described as the "heaviest sanctions ever" levied on North Korea.

These new North Korea sanctions measures expand the growing set of USA trade restrictions targeting North Korea, and implement authorities under the North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act of 2016 and the North Korea sections of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017.

Yun, a former U.S. ambassador to Malaysia, has been the state department's point-man for its limited contact with the North Korean government through a back channel at the nation's diplomatic mission to the United Nations in NY. "[Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson has told me he appreciates my service and did not want me to go, but he accepts it reluctantly".

North Korea has repeatedly insisted its nuclear weapons are not a subject for negotiation.

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"If talks are possible only under the right conditions just as Trump said, the U.S. should create those conditions", said the Japan-based newspaper Choson Sinbo, which often carries views in line with the Pyongyang regime. We need to make sure if there are talks it will lead to denuclearization. "A huge loss for the US government at a critical moment". Kim Yong Chol, deputy chief of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said Monday that the door is open to dialogue with the U.S.as well.

The president had kinder words for China, considered North Korea's closest ally.

Following North Korea's talks offer, the USA responded by saying that the conditions should be right to kick-start the talks process.

General Kim was in the same VIP box for the sporting event's closing ceremony in Pyeongchang with the U.S. official government delegation, led by President Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and which included the uniformed commander of the American and United Nations forces on the Korean peninsula, U.S. Army General Vincent Brooks.

"The reality is completely different", the paper said.

Republican Sen. James Risch of Idaho said earlier this month that lawmakers have been told "by administration people, about as high up as it gets, that there is no such thing as a "bloody nose strategy" " and that the option has never been discussed.

Over the weekend, North Korean indicated in a meeting with South Koreans that they are ready for talks with the U.S. China's foreign ministry also demanded the USA immediately lift the sanctions "to avoid harming bilateral cooperation in the relevant area".


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