DPRK Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Urges U.S. to Lift Financial Sanctions against DPRK

Pyongyang, January 9 (Korean Central News Agency) -- A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry today gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA as regards the U.S. claim that its financial sanctions against the DPRK have nothing to do with the six-party talks:

Recently officials of the U.S. administration vied with each other to make remarks intended to mislead public opinion concerning its financial sanctions against the DPRK. They asserted that these sanctions are a separate issue from the six-party talks, that north Korea's stand toward the issue is a pretext for delaying the talks and that the issue is not a subject of negotiation and it would be all right if the party who conducted illegal acts stop such doing for itself.

The financial sanctions against the DPRK are an issue directly related to the six-party talks. This is quite understandable to anyone, if he has elementary thinking ability. It is only the United States that pretends not to know about this.

As far as the six-party talks are concerned, they are aimed at realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. So what is essential here is for the DPRK and the U.S. to move to fulfill their commitments to the denuclearization of the peninsula.

The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula surfaced because of the hostile policy pursued by the U.S. towards the DPRK, negating its ideology and system while forcing America's ideology and system upon it. Therefore, the key to solving the issue is for the U.S. to renounce its hostile policy towards the DPRK and opt for co-existence with the latter.

That is why the joint statement of the six-party talks clarifies the principle that the DPRK and the U.S. should respect each other and co-exist in peace with a view to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

However, the U.S. is applying financial sanctions against the DPRK in an effort to destroy the system in the DPRK by stopping its blood from running. This act is, therefore, in gross violation of the principle of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence laid down in the joint statement. Worse still, such sanctions were imposed upon the DPRK while the six-party talks were under way.

Bush and high-ranking officials of the U.S. came out one after another to let loose such outcries as "tyranny" and "criminal state". The U.S. only talked about such sanctions before, but after the adoption of the joint statement it put them into practice, pursuing a harsher hostile policy towards the DPRK than ever before.

Is there any need to have talks under the situation where the U.S. is enforcing such policy? Even if any agreement is reached between the parties concerned, it is likely to be overturned by a person in high authority of the U.S. So, how can such a serious issue as the abandonment of the nuclear program be discussed freely?

Under the present situation it is illogical to discuss with the U.S., the assailant, the issue of dismantling the nuclear deterrent built up by the DPRK for self-defence.

This being a hard reality, can the U.S. still claim that its financial sanctions against the DPRK are a separate issue from the six-party talks? After all, the U.S. assertion only betrayed its intention to keep pursuing its hostile policy towards the DPRK regardless of the six-party talks and shift the blame for the stalled talks on to the latter.

It is an utterly brigandish logic for the U.S. to claim that the financial sanctions are not a subject of negotiation and it would be all right if the party who conducted illegal acts stops such doing for itself.

We examined the information the U.S. side provided to us, claiming that it was the motive of its application of sanctions. Such things cited by it, however, have never happened in our country.

Various countries and media, too, commented that the information cited by the U.S. at a "press briefing" lacked credibility.

Such being hard facts, the U.S. has persistently refused to negotiate with the DPRK while floating baseless fictions which nobody believes. Had the U.S. imposed the above-said sanctions upon the DPRK on the basis of scientific data or facts, there would have been no reason for it to refuse to sit at the negotiating table with the DPRK with a view to probing the truth in a fair and square way.

The U.S. should lift the sanctions, an obstacle to the six-party talks, and come out for the talks, if it is truly interested in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and hopes for the progress of the talks.