North Korean FM calls Pompeo ‘poison of American diplomacy’

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PYONGYANG – After threats from Pompeo, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho called him “the poison of American diplomacy” and said he “has no shame or conscience.”

The latest joint exercises between US and South Korean military forces have raised the degree of tension in the Korean peninsula once again. In one moment, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that if North Korea does not start its denuclearization process, the US will put pressure on the country with harsh sanctions.

That statement sparked unease in Pyongyang and resulted in a statement by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, KCNA said.

“The bunch of insane statements that the leader of the US negotiating group makes during the dialogue between our countries ends up causing concern,” said Ri Yong-ho.

The North Korean official also said that “nothing good can be expected from Pompeo” and that he “has no shame or conscience.”

Two options

The North Korean FM stressed that North Korea is as open to dialogue as it is to confronting Washington.

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“If the US makes dialogue impossible and thinks it can do everything through sanctions, we have two options left: either to let them delirium in their dream or make them wake up to reality. We are ready for both dialogue and confrontation,” added Ri Yong-ho.

Tensions

In addition to the military exercises, meetings between US and North Korean heads of state Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un respectively have not yet solidified the path to denuclearization of the peninsula.

Earlier this month, South Korea’s Unification Ministry reported that the current joint military exercises with the US are not directed against North Korea.

The spokesman added that the exercise “is not a violation of military agreements between the North and the South.”

“It is not a field training directed against the North, but a mock command post intended to prepare for the transfer of operational control in wartime (from Washington to Seoul),” Ministry spokesman Lee wrote.

On August 11, a senior official from the North Korean Foreign Ministry stated that Pyongyang will not maintain contact with Seoul unless a “plausible excuse” is presented for “aggressive war exercises.”

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