Trump pushes back against U.S. intelligence report on DPRK: 'decent chance of denuclearization'
Updated 22:10, 30-Jan-2019
CGTN

U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday said the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) no longer poses a threat and remains optimistic towards the country's denuclearization. 

He wrote on his Twitter that there is a 'decent chance of denuclearization' in the DPRK, in response to the comments made earlier by the director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, who believes the DRPK is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, casting questions on the efficacy of the coming DPRK-U.S. summit.

"...Time will tell what will happen with DPRK," Trump said in his tweet together with his expectation to see a "big difference" in the denuclearization progress.

U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet on the DPRK denuclearization issue, January 30, 2019 / Twitter screenshot from Donald Trump's official account.

U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet on the DPRK denuclearization issue, January 30, 2019 / Twitter screenshot from Donald Trump's official account.

Also on Wednesday, the DPRK called for sanctions relief, saying that bilateral relations cannot improve without trust-building efforts, Yonhap reported, citing the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The DPRK condemned the sanctions, holding the view that sanctions "cannot go side by side with the improvement in relations," Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the DPRK's ruling party, said in a commentary, according to Yonhap. "If the basis of improvement in relations is respect and trust, then it can be said that the basis of sanctions is hostility and confrontation," it added.

The paper argues that sanctions would not produce expected results of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula if Washington refuses to compromise on the sanction issues. It also blamed the U.S. for causing the current stalemate in the two countries' negotiation.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018. /VCG Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018. /VCG Photo

"Without outside support and help from anybody, our country can move forward with our own power and efforts," the paper said with emphasis on Pyongyang's commitment to building lasting and solid peace on the Korean Peninsula by establishing "new relations" with the U.S., according to Yonhap.

However, by far, little progress has been made in denuclearization talks as both sides fail to reach consensus on denuclearization issues. Washington seems using sanction relief as a bargain chip in exchange for concrete measures to denuclearization while Pyongyang is expecting its rival to move first.

The demand marked the latest in a string of calls by KCNA ahead of the coming second summit between Kim and Trump in late February.

Trump and Kim are planning to meet near the end of February at a location to be announced at a later date, according to the White House.

(Cover: A DPRK navy truck carries the "Pukkuksong" submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. /VCG Photo)