Monday, September 24, 2018 | ePaper

Iran 'highly sceptical' on US-North Korea nuclear talks

  • Print
AFP, Tehran :
Iran said Monday that it remains dubious about the prospects for talks between the United States and North Korea, and warned Pyongyang to be highly vigilant about Washington's promises.
"As regards US behaviour, approach and its intentions, we are highly sceptical and look at its actions with utter pessimism," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters in Tehran.
"For the time being we cannot be optimistic about the United States' behaviour, and the government of North Korea must approach this issue with absolute vigilance," he added.
Ghasemi said US President Donald Trump's actions in abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other international agreements, had shown he was an unreliable partner.
"We would like peace, stability and security to be established in the Korean Peninsula," he said, but added that experience in dealing with the US and Trump had left it with "much pessimism".
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore on Sunday for an unprecedented summit, with the US demanding complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.
Meanwhile,  South Koreans are divided on generational and political lines about Tuesday's summit between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.
Some hope for an end to Cold War confrontation and that the North will eventually give up its nuclear weapons, others are sceptical about Pyongyang's intentions-and some say they have too many economic problems of their own to pay much attention.
Lee Eun-ho, a 70-year-old worker, said the North would never give up its nuclear weapons as Kim had "developed them to hold on to power in the first place".
"I have little expectation from the summit," he said.
Reunification, he said, would be impossible because four powers-the US, China, Russia and Japan-do not want to see a unified Korea.
Choi Ho-chul, a 73-year-old former bank employee, said he doubts the North would give up nuclear weapons, which he said were a "means to control its population".
"I bet the North will not abandon nuclear weapons," he said, adding that the US and its allies should use both "carrots and sticks" to force the North to do so.  
Lee Hye-ji, a 31-year-old housewife, was "hopeful" about the Trump-Kim meeting, adding she was less interested in denuclearisation than a declaration that the Korean War was over, 65 years after hostilities stopped with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.
"This would bring us a step closer to reunification", she said.
Cho Sung-kwon, a 62-year-old pensioner, added: "It would be a good thing if we stop fighting."
He said his perception of Kim-a "bad guy with nuclear weapons"-had improved considerably following his two meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the border truce village of Panmunjom.
"Despite his young age, he seems to be shrewd," he said, adding that he believes Kim realises his crusade to develop a nuclear arsenal to ensure his regime's survival has "hit a dead end" under intensifying sanctions.
"I think the North will denuclearise... because it knows it has no other alternatives," he said.
He added that the South would have to provide the North with economic aid as the two were ultimately one people.
Kim Hee-hyun, 30, believes Kim has reached the conclusion that denuclearisation will be beneficial for his own prospects, but was wary about the cost of reunification.
"The South cannot simply afford to take care of the North economically", she said. "But cross-border exchanges and travels would be desirable."
Other young South Koreans said they were too preoccupied with their search for work to pay attention to diplomacy.
The country's youth unemployment rate stood at 10.7 percent in April and job-seeker Kim Tae-young-who has a bachelor's degree in engineering and new materials-said: "Frankly speaking, I have no particular feelings about the summit, but I just hope it would help ease uncertainties.
"It is hard to tell whether reunification would be a good thing, considering the huge economic burdens and wide cultural differences between the two sides," added the 27-year-old.
Lee Do-kyu, also 27 and unemployed, said the recent inter-Korean summits had raised his interest in politics, but it had waned rapidly.

More News For this Category

World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism

World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism

AP, United Nations :With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together

Israel gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave

Israel gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave

AFP, Jerusalem :Israeli authorities issued a notice to residents of a Bedouin village in a strategic spot in the occupied West Bank on Sunday informing them they have until the

Iran's President blames US after attack on military parade

Iran's President blames US after attack on military parade

AP, Tehran :Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that an unnamed U.S.-allied country in the Persian Gulf was behind an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people and

Modi faces calls for resignation over French jet deal

Modi faces calls for resignation over French jet deal

Reuters, New delhi :Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced calls for his resignation over allegations of corruption in a military jet deal with France after former French president Francois Hollande

US official in Russia probe suggested taping Trump: Report

US official in Russia probe suggested taping Trump: Report

Reuters, Washington: The US official who oversees the federal investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump last year and recruiting Cabinet members

New bombshell revives debate on Trump fitness for office

New bombshell revives debate on Trump fitness for office

Donald Trump faced a new challenge to his authority Friday after US media reported that his deputy attorney general had discussed ways to force him from office on grounds of

India calls off foreign ministers' meeting with Pakistan

India calls off foreign ministers' meeting with Pakistan

AP, New Delhi :India called off a planned meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session in New York this

Pope to honour Baltic martyrs amid abuse crisis

Pope to honour Baltic martyrs amid abuse crisis

AP, Lithuania :Russia will be the elephant in the room as Pope Francis begins a four-day visit to the Baltics amid renewed alarm about Moscow's intentions in the region it

News in brief

Canada hosts first meeting of Women FMsAFP, Montreal Women foreign ministers from around the world kicked off a first-of-its-kind meeting on Friday, bringing together more than half of the world's

US-North Korea relations making 'tremendous progress': Trump

US-North Korea relations making 'tremendous progress': Trump

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said US relations with North Korea are making "tremendous progress" from the days before his presidency when the two countries appeared close to "going to