Paws for peace - North Korea's Kim sends two dogs across DMZ

Charlene Craig
September 30, 2018

Ri says it's a "pipe dream" that continued sanctions and United States objection to a declaration ending the Korean War will ever bring the North to its knees.

North Korea says it will never disarm nuclear weapons if it can't trust Washington.

So far, all three, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the North has not even agreed to define basic terms such as "denuclearisation", "verifiable", and "irreversible".

Such demands - as well as a history of North Korea breaking past promises to dismantle its nuclear program - have raised questions as to whether or not the US and North Korea will actually be able to reach a meaningful agreement.

"The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant about us", Ri said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week he would return to Pyongyang to set up a sequel to the Singapore meeting between Kim and Trump.

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He noted that Pyongyang had taken "significant" goodwill steps, including stopping nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests (both are forbidden activities under existing U.N. Security Council resolutions) and dismantling the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, but had seen no corresponding response from Washington.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim have said that they want to work towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula, holding an unprecedented meeting earlier this year in Singapore to discuss the idea.

Mr Trump said at the Saturday night rally in West Virginia: "He wrote me attractive letters and they're great letters".

Addressing a packed out arena in West Virginia on Saturday night, he said the North Korean leader had written him "beautiful letters" while they negotiated the country's nuclear disarmament.

"We were going to war with North Korea".

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Mr Trump was likely referring to the letters he received from Mr Kim that his White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders described at the time as "a very warm, very positive letter."

The U.S. has not ruled it out.

But his comments seemed infused with impatience at the slow pace of progress in a process the world hopes will cause Pyongyang to abandon an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles.

Pyongyang has also made clear that they are looking for a formal declaration to the end of the Korean War.

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