North Korea Says It’s No Longer Bound by Nuclear Freeze

Officials fault 'brutal and inhumane' US sanctions

North Korea’s Ju Yong Chol, an official at the UN mission in Geneva, has announced that his nation no longer considers itself bound by previous commitments to halt nuclear weapons testing or launches of long-range missiles.

Ju cited the passage of a December deadline to restart negotiations with the US and further complained about the “brutal and inhumane” sanctions the US has imposed on North Korea.

US sanctions have been a major issue in US-North Korean relations, as the weapons testing freeze, and a similar freeze on US wargames, were meant to ease tensions and make way for negotiations. During that time, however, the US not only resisted easing sanctions but greatly tightened them, much to the North Koreans’ annoyance.

Hopes for denuclearization and a peace deal have rested on North Korea wanting something in return for scrapping their nuclear program. So far, the US has spurned such suggestions, and insists North Korea is obliged to fulfill such commitments without anything coming to them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.