Thursday, 21 March, 2019

North Korea election sees 99.99 percent turnout

Content image- Phnom Penh Post Washington’s goal is the complete denuclearisation of North Korea said special US envoy Stephen Biegun. Ed JONES AFP
Kenny Thornton | 14 March, 2019, 04:39

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho later said his side had offered to "permanently and completely dismantle all the nuclear production facilities" at its main complex in Yongbyon if the U.S. dropped sanctions "that hamper the civilian economy and the livelihood of our people".

This year's turnout fell just short of 100 percent as those "abroad or working in oceans" were unable to take part, North Korea's official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

At the second Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi in late February, the two sides failed to reach a deal because the two leaders could not agree on an arrangement that would permit the complete lifting of US sanctions on North Korea.

Scott Snyder, director of the U.S. -Korea policy program at the Council of Foreign Relations, said the Hanoi summit revealed the U.S. has reverted to its original position.

He said this does not mean the USA position has hardened. Experts say the breakdown of the Trump-Kim talks raised further doubts about Moon's claim that Kim is genuinely interested in dealing away his nuclear weapons and about Moon's role as mediator, which has also become less crucial with Washington and Pyongyang directly communicating.

Biegun also said that North Korea's chemical and biological weapons "would be unacceptable" at the Carnegie conference.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong holds a bouquet of flowers during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace on March 1, 2019, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

"They're not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them", Bolton said. "It is too asymmetrical".

Brexit chaos: UK MPs reject Theresa May’s deal AGAIN
He said: "I made a promise in the election to call a referendum and I called the referendum". She said: "It surprised me again as it did last time how major the loss was".

US-based websites recently released satellite photographs indicating North Korea has restored structures at its long-range rocket launch facility that it dismantled past year at the start of diplomacy with the United States.

However, he said that if the North went ahead, the U.S. would be "forced to react" whether it turned out to be a missile test or a satellite launch.

He continued, "The current sanctions and other measures have not reached the level necessary to compel the shift we seek".

South Korea's military said Monday it was closely monitoring North Korean facilities after a series of satellite images triggered global alarm that Pyongyang might be preparing a long-range missile or space launch.

Commercial satellite images showed North Korea rebuilding the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri, which Pyongyang began to dismantle after the first summit with the U.S.in Singapore.

Located on the outskirts of Pyongyang, Samundong was built in 2012 to support development of long-range missiles and space-launch vehicles.

The envoy said there could be no comprehensive agreement with the North without agreement on each point, adding that there was "complete unity" in the administration on that approach.

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