North Korea calls for implementation of inter-Korean summit deals amid stalled nuke talks

South Korea President Moon Jae-in (left) and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un walk on the blue bridge at the truce village of Panmunjom, on April 27, 2018.
South Korea President Moon Jae-in (left) and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un walk on the blue bridge at the truce village of Panmunjom, on April 27, 2018.PHOTO: NYTIMES

SEOUL - North Korea's media on Wednesday (Aug 29) reiterated calls for South Korea to faithfully implement summit agreements between their leaders amid concerns nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have reached a stalemate, Yonhap news agency reported.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, strongly criticisise United States for imposing additional sanctions on Pyongyang, saying that the move runs counter to the efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and reunify the two countries.

"In order to lend support for the current move towards reconciliation, unity and reunification, (we) should continue to push ahead with implementation of the historic Panmunjom Declaration," the newspaper said in an article, according to Yonhap.

"The North and the South should seek to resolve issues related to their reunification with our people's own will and power independent of outside forces," it added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un adopted the Panmunjom Declaration after holding a summit in April.

In the declaration, the two agreed to work towards the "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, halt hostile acts against each other and push for active inter-Korean exchanges.

The North, however, has voiced its frustration with the slower-than-expected progress in economic cooperation between the two Koreas, while the Seoul government appears reluctant to push for full-blown cooperation, apparently hamstrung by multilayered sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

 
 

The US is holding firm that the sanctions will remain in place until the North completely abandons its nuclear weapons programme. It recently announced additional sanctions against Russian ships and business entities for doing business with North Korea.

"Any acts by anti-unification forces at home and abroad aimed at preventing the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration will be met with punishment and condemnation from our people," the article said.

According to Yonhap, the newspaper, however, remained mum for days on the recent cancellation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea.

Mr Pompeo's trip to the North had raised expectations that Pyongyang and Washington might have reached a meaningful agreement in their denuclearisation talks, which have been stalemated since the two countries' summit in Singapore in June.