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Pro-North Korean paper says no change in N. Korea's approach to denuclearization

North Korea 14:55 December 19, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- A pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan said Wednesday that the North will not change its stance on complete denuclearization as its leader has already committed to the goal.

"Even if big powers' interests sharply clash and the international situation is swayed by strong waves, there will be no reversal of the new historic flow that started from Panmunjom," the Choson Sinbo said in an article.

"This is because our supreme leader, who accomplished the great task of completing the national nuclear armament, made a decision on complete denuclearization," it added.

Panmunjom is the inter-Korean truce village where South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in April and agreed to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Last year, North Korea announced the completion of its nuclear armament. In his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June, Kim reaffirmed his commitment to complete denuclearization in exchange for security guarantees.

Speculation has been rising among some skeptics that Pyongyang might turn hawkish next year in its approach to the currently prolonged stalemate in denuclearization talks with the U.S.

Pyongyang wants sanctions relief in return for what it sees as the substantive denuclearization steps it has taken over recent months. Washington is asking for more tangible measures.

The newspaper said that Pyongyang's principle of "action for action" in denuclearization talks remains unchanged no matter how long Washington drags its feet.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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