You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

North Korea to halt nuke tests if US stops drills

Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong held firm to Pyongyang's longstanding position that the US drove his country to develop nuclear weapons as an act of self-defence

Topics
North Korea

AP/ PTI  |  New York 

In this Oct 10, 2015, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers remarks at a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea

is ready to halt its nuclear tests if the United States suspends its annual military exercises with South Korea, the North Korean foreign minister has said as he warned that his country won't be cowed by sanctions.

Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong in an interview with The Associated Press defended the country's right to maintain a nuclear deterrent, and for those waiting for the North's regime to collapse, he had this to say: Don't hold your breath.

"Stop the nuclear war exercises in the Korean Peninsula, then we should also cease our nuclear tests," he said in his first interview yesterday with a Western news organisation.

Ri held firm to Pyongyang's longstanding position that the US drove his country to develop nuclear weapons as an act of self-defence. At the same time, he suggested that suspending the military exercises with Seoul could open the door to talks and reduced tensions.

"If we continue on this path of confrontation, this will lead to very catastrophic results, not only for the two countries but for the whole entire world as well," he said, speaking in Korean through an interpreter.

"It is really crucial for the United States government to withdraw its hostile policy against the DPRK and as an expression of this stop the military exercises, war exercises, in the Korean Peninsula. Then we will respond likewise."

DPRK is an abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Ri, who spoke calmly and in measured words, a contrast to the often bombastic verbiage used by the North's media, claimed the North's proposal was "very logical."


He granted the interview in the country's diplomatic mission to the United Nations. He spoke beneath portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jung Il, North Korea's two previous leaders - the grandfather and father of current leader Kim Jong Un.

If the exercises are halted "for some period, for some years," he added, "new opportunities may arise for the two countries and for the whole entire world as well."

Ri's comments to the AP came just hours after test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine in its latest show of defiance as the US-South Korea exercises wind down. He referred to the launch in the context of current tensions caused by the military exercises.

"The escalation of this military exercise level has reached its top level.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, April 24 2016. 09:57 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.