North Korea would have “no need” to keep nuclear weapons if Washington can promise to formally end the Korean War and signs a non-aggression pact with Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said: “I am not the kind of person who would shoot nuclear weapons to the south, over the Pacific or at the United States.”
Kim Jong-un Photo Credit: EPA
During Friday’s historic summit between the two Korean leaders, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un told South Korea’s president Moon Jae In that his country would be willing to give up its nuclear program if the United States could commit to formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and vow to not invade his country, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
According to the report, a South Korean government spokesman said on Sunday that the North Korean leader expressed his desire to end the conflict in his region and asked the US to do the same. “I know the Americans are inherently disposed against us, but when they talk with us, they will see that I am not the kind of person who would shoot nuclear weapons to the south, over the Pacific or at the United States,” he was quoted by the South Korean spokesperson.
Kim also said during last week’s meeting that he would welcome experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to his underground nuclear test site to witness the closure. The two Korean leaders signed on Friday a declaration expressing their common goal for a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula” and “complete denuclearization,” however Kim did not publicly renounce his nuclear weapons.
Kim’s comments come immediately after United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed on Sunday the impressions from his surprise visit to Pyongyang over the Easter weekend earlier this month. Pompeo referred to the meeting between the two by saying they had a “good conversation.”
“We had an extensive conversation on the hardest issues that face our two countries,” Pompeo said. “I had a clear mission statement from President Trump. When I left, Kim Jong Un understood the mission exactly as I described it today.”
US President Donald Trump is set to meet the North Korea leader in the next three to four weeks. In the meantime, the North Korea leader has promised to close his main nuclear weapons test site in May. Kim told South Korea’s president that two tunnels at the nuclear test site are still in good condition, pointing to the fact that the site remains undamaged despite international speculation.
Moon is also expected to be in North Korea later this spring. He was also quoted as saying that the North Korean leader said: “If we maintain frequent meetings and build trust with the United States and receive promises for an end to the war and a non-aggression treaty, then why would we need to live in difficulty by keeping our nuclear weapons?”