North Korea said on Friday, 12, that it will strengthen its nuclear program in response to what it regards as unfulfilled promises by the United States, after two years of diplomatic rapprochement.
On the second anniversary of the Singapore summit, the first held by the heads of government of the two countries, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon announced the threat in a statement released by state news agency KCNA. "The infallible strategic objective of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the country's official name) is to create a more reliable force to deal with the US's long-term military threats," he said.
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Ri also said that "the hope for an improvement in relations between the DPRK and the United States", which was very high in the eyes of the world two years ago, "has now turned into despair".
North Korea has been hardening its position in relation to the United States and South Korea after the failure of the Hanoi denuclearization summit, in which Washington considered the proposal to disarm the regime led by Kim Jong-un insufficient. The North Korean foreign minister believes that the American and Asian peoples still want a "new era of cooperation, peace and prosperity", but that the situation on the peninsula "is getting worse by the day".
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Ri listed Pyongyang concessions since the Singapore summit, such as the closure of the Punggye-ri nuclear test camp, the stoppage of intercontinental missile launches, the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers who died in the Korean War (1950- 1953) and the release of Americans held in the country.
The chancellor accused Washington of not responding as agreed and considers that the only thing the United States government has done so far "is to accumulate its political achievements". He then made a clear reference to President Donald Trump's messages – and the tone used in them – on Twitter.
"We will never again give the maximum American representative another package so that it can be used to add achievements without receiving anything in return," he said.
The North Korean politician also said that his country does not see any improvement in bilateral ties "simply because of personal relations between the supreme leader (Kim Jong-un) and the American president" and questioned whether Singapore's "handshake" should be sustained.
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Finally, Ri claimed that the United States is targeting North Korea with “all kinds” of nuclear weapons and cited the existence of American aircraft carriers and strategic bombers in the region, in apparent reference to the B-1, which technically is not more equipped with atomic bombs, but which Washington returned to position in May at its air base in Guam.