North Korea says it wants peace, relations with U.S.

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GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea said on Tuesday that relations with the United States will develop “wonderfully at a fast pace” if Washington responds to its efforts on denuclearisation with trustworthy measures and practical actions.

North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Han Tae Song, also told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament that Pyongyang would continue working to establish a “permanent and durable peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula”.

The summit last June between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump had brought about a dramatic turn in relations that had been “the most hostile on earth” and contributed to ensuring peace and security on the divided peninsula, Han said.

He referred to the two leaders’ joint statement issued after their meeting in Singapore and Kim’s New Year’s Address, adding:

“Accordingly we declared that we would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer nor use and proliferate them and we have taken various practical measures.

“If the U.S. responds to our efforts with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions, bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at a fast pace through the process of taking more definite and epoch-making steps,” he said.

Han told Reuters that he had no information on a possible upcoming second summit between Kim and Trump.

South Korea’s foreign minister told Reuters at Davos last week that North Korea must make concrete pledges towards curbing its nuclear weapons programme, such as dismantling its main nuclear complex and allowing international inspections to confirm the process, when leader Kim meets Trump as soon as next month.