North Korea says new U.S. sanctions threaten nuclear peace talks
After the US Treasury Department issued sanctions against three top-level North Korean government officials, North Korea warned that these actions will threaten any progress towards nuclear disarmament.According to an editorial in KCNA, a North Korean news service, the sanctions will regress “DPRK-US relations back to the status of last year which was marked by exchanges of fire.”
CNN reports that the Policy Research Director of the Institute for American Studies at North Korea’s foreign affairs ministry released a statement reading, “The continued commission by the United States of vicious anti-DPRK hostile actions, running counter to these developments, prompts my shock and indignation. US high-ranking politicians including the secretary of state have almost every day slandered the DPRK out of sheer malice. The US should realize before it is too late that ‘maximum pressure’ would not work against us.”
Bruce Klingner, a former CIA chief, described the statement as “typical North Korean negotiating behavior.” U.S. sanctions come after Trump decided to plan another summit with the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, “These sanctions demonstrate the United States’ ongoing support for freedom of expression, and opposition to endemic censorship and human rights abuses.”
While the U.S. continues to demand that the entire Korean peninsula be stripped of nuclear weapons, threats of sanctions over nuclear disarmament or human rights abuses have not been demanded of the U.S.