North Korea pushed back Monday on recent media reports and accusations that North Korea is advancing its weapons programs rather than disarming in pursuit of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“American intelligence agencies and media are pushing the opinion that ‘the North is expanding its nuclear and missile facilities’ and ‘North Korea is breaking the promise of complete denuclearization,’” the North Korean propaganda outlet Arirang-Meari asserted Monday, arguing that such “impure public opinion is just canard spread by naysayers on the dialogue within the U.S. society which can secure their interests only when the status of war between the North and the U.S. and military tensions are maintained.”
The article did not mention any specific media outlets by name, but the outlet appears to be referring to recent reports from NBC, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Diplomat.
NBC reported in late June that North Korea has increased the production of fuel for the making of nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months. Adding to information by The Post, which identified one of the covert enrichment sites as Kangson, The Diplomat, with the help of a handful of dedicated experts, managed to locate the site, pulling the secret facility out of the shadows.
As this information emerged, North Korea watchdog 38 North released an analysis of satellite images that indicated North Korea has been making improvements to the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center.
TheWSJ followed suit, revealing that the North Koreans were also continuing construction at and expanding its main solid-fuel missile manufacturing facility — the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
As story after story broke about North Korean activities, the Trump administration insisted that the process was “going well.”
Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
But, while talks are moving forward, negotiations appear to have hit a speed bump.
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang last weekend for a two-day visit with senior officials, he pressed North Korea on these developments, raising questions about North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported Monday. After the secretary departed, North Korea’s foreign ministry called the meeting “regrettable,” describing the U.S. attitude and demands as “cancerous” and “gangster-like.”
During the challenging meeting in Pyongyang, North Korean officials firmly denied the accusations that it is moving forward with its weapons development programs. The Arirang-Meari report accused the U.S. of using misleading reports to put “pressure” on North Korea. “The creation of new things is always accompanied by a struggle against old things, and innovations always go with hindrance. [The U.S.] should resolve pending issues with a new perspective and way while boldly breaking with the old things,” according to the report.
The article followed similar reports in DPRK Today and Uriminzokkiri, according to NK News.
“The task of the moment is to respect each other and build up mutual trust. If the American administration is swayed by anti-peace and anti-dialogue forces in dealing with the DPRK, good outcomes can hardly be expected,” the Tongil Sinbo, the North’s external propaganda weekly, argued Sunday.