GENEVA (Sputnik) – North Korea will not see any significant sanctions relief until it completely and veritably gets rid of its nuclear arsenal, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Christopher Ford has stated.
“We are serious when we say, that the final and fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, as promised by Trump and Kim in Singapore, is our objective. And we have every intention of getting to that objective. And until we get to that point they should not expect to see a kind of dramatic sanctions relief that they have asked for”, Ford said at a press conference, stressing that this decision would not be subject to further negotiation.
Ford added that by continuing the campaign of pressure, Washington remained open to further engagement.
Immediately after the summit, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said that Pyongyang would have dismantled all nuclear material if the United States had only removed restrictions partially.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands before their one-on-one chat during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019
© REUTERS / LEAH MILLIS
US Issues New Sanctions on N Korea Shortly After Unsuccessful Trump-Kim Talks
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, has repeatedly called for the easing of sanctions pressure on Pyongyang as a means to help accelerate the denuclearisation process. Moscow also believes that the United States should not expect North Korea to first completely denuclearize and only then consider whether to lift sanctions.
In late February, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held their second summit in the Vietnamese capital in an attempt to give the denuclearisation process on the Korean Peninsula more momentum. The negotiations fell apart, however, after Pyongyang said it wanted Washington to lift all sanctions on the country before it started denuclearizing, to which the United States could not agree.