North Korea rejects U.S. preconditions for holding talks

Posted March 04, 2018

The US has "egged the UNSC Sanctions Committee on" to claim a link between North Korea and Syria, the official said, adding that the allegation is created to build additional support for Washington's proposal for a "full-scale sea blockade" of the North and a "military invasion into Syria".

For the foreseeable future, the Trump administration has said it will emphasize the continued use of sanctions and diplomatic pressure to guide any decisions on whether to engage in military action against North Korea. South Korea's president told President Trump in a phone call earlier this week that he is planning to send a special envoy to Pyongyang.Graham has in the past repeated a warning that the "headed toward a war" with North Korea and praised Trump's "fire and fury" rhetoric against the regime.

Both Russia and China have repeatedly proposed a so-called "double-freeze" plan which would see the United States suspend military exercises with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests.

Tensions have remained high since the latest sanctions were put into place. Scott Simon talks with Bruce Bechtol, a former Korea analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

President Donald Trump announced on February 23 that the "heaviest sanctions ever" were being placed on North Korea, targeting its shipping and trading companies.

The country, which had tested three intercontinental ballistic missiles a year ago, is now under heavy economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the United Nations (UN). "Hopefully, something positive can happen".

The North Korean spokesperson also said that while North Korea was open to talking with the USA, it would "neither beg for dialogue nor evade the military option claimed by the U.S".

The report said that speaking at a plenary session, North Korea's representative argued the USA was deploying a large number of strategic assets near the Korean Peninsula and intentionally escalating the situation.

The White House said on Thursday that "any dialogue with North Korea must be conducted with the explicit and unwavering goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization". "The US attitude shown after we clarified our intention for DPRK-US dialogue compels us to only think that the US is not interested in resuming the DPRK-US dialogue".