Report: North Korean leader wants security guarantee from Washington

Several of China's top state-controlled newspapers, featuring a front page story of Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, are sold at a news kiosk in Beijing on March 28. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

SEOUL, April 9 (UPI) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to “completely denuclearize,” in return for a security guarantee from the United States, Japanese media reported Monday.

According to Yomiuri Shimbun, Kim told Chinese leader Xi Jinping in their summit last month that he will give up his nukes as long as the United States guarantees the security of his regime and there is “full compensation” for denuclearization.

The report says Kim clearly insisted that a security guarantee, the removal of international sanctions and broad economic support must first be provided, rather than coincide with the denuclearization process.

According to a diplomatic source cited by Yomiuri, if the United States “faithfully takes part in the summit,” the North Korean leader is ready to be more active and open to receiving international scrutiny and inspection on dismantling his nuclear programs, compared to past agreements such as the Geneva Agreement in 1994 and the Six-Party Agreement in 2005.

Ahead of the North’s upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States, North Korean diplomat Ri Yong-ho is expected to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Russia on Tuesday.

Moscow’s foreign ministry announced Sunday that the North Korean diplomat will sit down with Lavrov for ministerial talks during his visit to the Russian capital from Monday to Wednesday.

It said the two officials are expected to exchange views on the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, and that the unresolved nuclear issue has hindered cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

The ministry said Russia supports United Nations Security Council resolutions on imposing sanctions on the North, as well as helping resolve the security issue on the Korean Peninsula.

It added the country also supports the North Korean leadership’s efforts to hold talks with the South and the United States, in line with the “roadmap” Moscow suggested on pursuing a peaceful, step-by-step approach to end the crisis.


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