North Korea says it wants peace, relations with US

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations Han Tae Song said that Pyongyang will work to establish a "permanent and durable peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula".
North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations Han Tae Song said that Pyongyang will work to establish a "permanent and durable peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula".PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (REUTERS) - North Korea said on Tuesday (Jan 29) that relations with the United States will develop "wonderfully at a fast pace" if Washington responds to its efforts on denuclearisation with trustworthy measures and practical actions.

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr Han Tae Song, also told the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament that Pyongyang would continue working to establish a "permanent and durable peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula".

The summit last June between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump had brought about a dramatic turn in relations that had been "the most hostile on earth" and contributed to ensuring peace and security on the divided peninsula, Mr Han said.

He referred to the two leaders' joint statement issued after their meeting in Singapore and Mr Kim's New Year's address, adding: "Accordingly, we declared that we would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer, nor use and proliferate them, and we have taken various practical measures."

"If the US responds to our efforts with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions, bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at a fast pace through the process of taking more definite and epoch-making steps," he said.

Mr Han told Reuters that he had no information on a possible upcoming second summit between Mr Kim and Mr Trump.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told Reuters in Davos last week that North Korea must make concrete pledges towards curbing its nuclear weapons programme, such as dismantling its main nuclear complex and allowing international inspections to confirm the process, when Mr Kim meets Mr Trump as soon as next month.