North Korea warns Seoul to stay out of nuclear issue ahead of summit

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  June 29, 2017 at 11:39 AM
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June 29 (UPI) -- North Korea wants South Korea to stay out of the "nuclear issue" ahead of the first summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated in an editorial on Thursday the "nuclear issue on the peninsula is a problem to be solved between [North Korea] and the United States," and described Seoul's opposition to nuclear weapons as belonging to the "tattered old idea of confrontation."

"The nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula has arisen from the hostile policy of the United States and threats to attack North Korea with nuclear weapons. It has nothing to do with North-South relations. South Korean authorities have no justification for meddling in the nuclear issue."

Trump and Moon are expected to meet Thursday. It is likely Pyongyang's continued proliferation of nuclear weapons is at the top of the agenda.

Trump's national security adviser said Wednesday the military option on North Korea is being more highly considered in the face of developments.

"The threat is much more immediate now and so it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past," said H.R. McMaster.

In its statement on Thursday, North Korea warned the South its involvement in the nuclear issue would make it difficult to "improve dialogue and relations."

Pyongyang has issued similar statements, intended to drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea, at a time when both countries are revisiting old issues under new administrations.

In a separate statement, North Korea responded to a decision by the Financial Action Task Force, an international agency, to re-impose countermeasures against North Korea for its money laundering activities.

Pyongyang claimed the United States was behind the decision to continue blacklisting North Korea for its alleged involvement in money laundering and "terrorist financing."

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