Choe Son Hui laments US dumping gold at Hanoi

Translation from Korean
By Korea Policy Institute

Choe Son Hui
Choe Son Hui
In comments to the press following the collapse of the Hanoi summit, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui who entered the global spotlight last year with her assessment of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" for likening North Korea to Libya, noted that Kim Jong Un "may have lost the appetite for negotiations after seeing the U.S. reaction to our unprecedented proposal of dismantling the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety."

Choe Son Hui: We’ll take questions regarding our Foreign Affairs Minister’s statement.

– When would Chairman Kim Jong Un visit Seoul?

Choe: Please limit your questions to DPRK-US Summit.

– What are the additional measures the United States demanded?

Choe: As the Minister clarified, what we proposed was historically significant. We proposed the permanent dismantling of all the nuclear facilities in their entirety at Yongbyon, including all the plutonium facilities and all the uranium facilities, in the presence of U.S. experts. In return, we proposed, as the Minister mentioned, that the United States lift the 5 sanctions that are closely related with livelihood of civilian economy. By rejecting this proposal, the United States is missing out on a golden opportunity for peace.

-What are the 5 sanctions related to civilian livelihood?

Choe: The 5 sanctions we proposed lifting do not include any sanctions related to the military. We only proposed lifting the sanctions that are related to civilian economic livelihood. Since 2016, there have been 6 sanctions resolutions against DPRK. Including Res. 2280, there are 5 that we want to see lifted, but even among those, we did not propose to scrap them 100%, only those parts that are directly related civilian livelihood.

What we proposed was dismantling the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety and inviting U.S. nuclear experts to join uss. As I watched this Summit, I felt our Chairman was struggling to understand the U.S. calculation and approach to the negotiations. Going forward, I am afraid that our Chairman may have lost the appetite for negotiations after seeing the U.S. reaction to our unprecedented proposal of dismantling of Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety.


– When would be the next Summit?

Choe: Not decided yet. There is no agreement on the next Summit (or negotiations) yet.

– What is DPRK’s position on declaring the Nuclear List?

Choe: I’d like to mention that the American nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker visited the uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon Nuclear Complex. What we proposed is to completely, irreversibly dismantle such a enormous facility, including the enriched uranium facility. However, there was no appropriate response from the United States. Therefore, I do not know if such opportunity will be presented to the United States again. Thank you.

(Korea Policy Institute - March 9, 2019)

Source of Korean text and images: Hankook Ilbo - March 1, 2019

Choe Son Hui Press Conference at Hanoi (ko)

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  1. DPRK blames failure of Hanoi Summit on US lack of sincerity

    [Caption] Choe Son Hui (C), vice foreign minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), attends a briefing in Pyongyang, DPRK, March 15, 2019. The recent summit between the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump failed because the U.S. side lacked sincerity, DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on Friday. (Xinhua/Liu Yanxia)

    PYONGYANG, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The recent summit between the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump failed because the U.S. side lacked sincerity, DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on Friday.

    During a briefing held in Pyongyang, Choe said that Kim attended the summit in Vietnam's capital Hanoi with real expectations, hoping to implement the consensus he had reached with Trump during their Singapore summit in 2018. But the U.S. side was uncompromising and stuck in its political calculations, missing a golden opportunity to reach an agreement with the DPRK.

    Given how insincere the U.S. side has been, the DPRK doubts the necessity of maintaining the negotiations, Choe said.

    The international community has no reason to continue to impose sanctions on the DPRK since the country had suspended nuclear tests for 15 months, Choe added, urging the UN Security Council to take a clear stance.

    However, Choe emphasized that the personal relations between Kim and Trump are still firm despite the talks breaking down, and the DPRK hopes their good personal relations can push forward bilateral ties at the right time.

    After ending the summit on Feb. 28 without reaching an agreement, Trump said at a press conference that there was "a gap" in what the DPRK and the United States were pursuing.

    According to Trump, Kim demanded relief from sanctions against Pyongyang "in their entirety" in exchange for denuclearizing a "large portion" of the DPRK's nuclear program, something the United States could not agree to.

    Dismissing Trump's claim, DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has said that DPRK only proposed partial removal of the sanctions, wanting those impeding the livelihood of their people to be removed first.

    (Xinhua, March 15, 2019)

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