North Korea is ready to develop peaceful relations with world nations – but only as a nuke state, the DPRK’s nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam said on Sunday. This comes as the US, Japan, and China call for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
North Korea, which, despite tension, is getting ready to celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung, said it was ready to conduct relations “based on the ideals of peace and sovereignty” and contribute to security and stability in Asia, and in the whole world “as a responsible nuclear-weapon state.”
However, North Korea’s Kim Yong-nam pointed out that not every nation is worthy their friendship, saying the country’s “invincible defense forces” armed with strengthening “nuclear deterrence forces” will “unfold a total fight against the USA, acting in accordance with a wartime scenario.”
“We will expand in quantity our nuclear weapons capability, which is the treasure of a unified Korea... that we would never barter at any price,” Kim Yong-nam stressed.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday asserted the United States is willing to “reach out” to North Korea – as long as it “takes action” towards giving up its nuclear program.
“I think it is really unfortunate that there has been so much focus and attention in the media and elsewhere on the subject of war, when what we really ought to be talking about is the possibility of peace. And I think there are those possibilities,” Kerry said during his Sunday visit to Tokyo where he is meeting his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kishida reiterated the American condition for talks, saying both Japan and the US “cannot allow North Korea in any way to possess nuclear weapons.”
North Korea should cease its “provocative speech and behavior,” Kishida stressed, urging it to take “concrete action toward denuclearization.”
Just the day before, China also said it is “firmly committed to upholding peace and stability and advancing the denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula.”
“There is no question in my mind that China is very serious – very serious – about denuclearizing,” Kerry noted after his Saturday talks with top Chinese officials.
He also warned the North Korean government would be making a “huge mistake” if it were to launch a missile as he stopped in South Korea, where some 28,000 US troops are stationed.
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday added that North Korea should realize their “provocative acts do not bring any benefit,” other than making the situation for them “more difficult.” He said that Japan is willing to coordinate with the United States, South Korea, China and Russia to prevent the North Korean missiles from being launched.
In the meantime, Pyongyang warned South Korea of “catastrophic consequences,” should there be a propaganda action during the Day of the Sun – Kim Il-sung’s 101th birthday celebrations on April 15.
Several South Korean NGOs have recently announced plans to launch air balloons with leaflets criticizing the North Korean regime over the border between the two countries.
Reports said the South Korean police have already prevented one such launch on Saturday, “for the first time ever,” according to activists. The latter undertook such attempts in the past, sometimes also attaching dollar bills to the leaflets. The people living in the border areas have protested the actions, as it inevitably leads to flare-ups with the North, the police explained.
North Korea itself is responsible for some recent provocative actions – which are taking place on the cyber-front, Seoul officials have claimed.
The South Korean nuclear power plant operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power said it had to cut off the Internet access and even seal the USB ports on all the computers inside their facilities for the fear of possible cyber-attacks from North Korea. Such “preventive measures” were taken after several other state companies, including banks and TV stations, became subject to such attacks that were officially blamed on North Korean hackers.
Some 48,000 South Korean computers have been hacked during the recent attacks, leading some of the country’s experts to claim the war is already going on in cyber-space. They estimate an army of at least 3,000 ‘hacker troops’ from the North are taking part, according to Itar-Tass.
North Korea has dismissed the allegations as “rumors” and “deliberate provocations” aimed at worsening the existing tension.
It also thwarted the South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s recent call for dialogue and “trust-building process,” calling it “a cunning trick to hide the South’s policy of confrontation.”
There would be no negotiation until South Korea and the United States end their joint military drill on the peninsula, the North Korean Reunification committee spokesman said in a statement on Sunday, adding that under these circumstances “such a dialogue would be meaningless.”
The statement aired by the KCNA news agency also blamed the South for trying to “shift its responsibility for putting the Kaesong Industrial Complex into a crisis.” Some 53,000 North Korean workers employed by 123 South Korean companies were working at the Kaesong Industrial Complex until it closed down due to the recent escalation of diplomatic hostilities.
The South Korean media is now speculating whether the North will
test-fire a missile during Monday’s birthday celebrations, some
claiming the launch facility is already on standby, RT’s Aleksey
Yaroshevky reported from the region on Sunday.