North Korea warns US against 'confidence-destroying measures'

BEIJING: A North Korean official urged the United States on Thursday
(Oct 25) to immediately lift sanctions against his country, warning that
the country's "confidence-destroying measures" would undermine
denuclearisation talks.

The US has insisted on maintaining stringent international sanctions on
North Korea until it gives up its nuclear weapons, even as the two
countries' leaders are expected to hold a second summit soon.

"We think that sanctions and pressure do more harm than good," Song Il
Hyok, deputy director general of the North Korean foreign ministry's
Institute for Disarmament and Peace, said at a defence forum in Beijing.

The sanctions, Song said, "are not at all" confidence-building measures "but confidence-destroying measures".

At their first summit in Singapore in June, US President Donald Trump
and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a vaguely-worded pledge on
denuclearisation, but little progress has been made since then as both
sides spar over how to interpret the text.

Song said Trump and Kim "recognised that the mutual confidence-building
can promote the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" during their
meeting in Singapore.

He called on Washington to "lift immediately the sanctions and this hindrance" to confidence-building.

Song spoke at the Xiangshan Forum, a regional defence dialogue hosted by
China since 2006 as part of Beijing's efforts to step up its global

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