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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