SYDNEY – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed caution on Wednesday over the announcement of the first summit between the leaders of the two Koreas and Pyongyang’s willingness to discuss nuclear disarmament.
“We have had these glimmers of light before, only to be disappointed,” Turnbull said at a business summit on Wednesday, adding that “the one thing that we must be very clear about is there must be no relenting in the economic sanctions against North Korea.”
The two Koreas agreed to hold a leader summit on the inter-Korean border in April, which would mark the first of its kind in more than a decade, while Pyongyang also showed signs of giving up its nuclear weapons, according to the South Korean government.
In response to North Korea’s remarks, the United States said that it would still carry out joint maneuvers with the South Korean Armed Forces, and warned that giving up their nuclear weapons was not enough to make Washington negotiate.
The six-party talks for the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula – which involved North Korea, South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan – have remained stagnant for more than a decade, and to date represent the last substantial contact between Pyongyang and Washington discussing nuclear disarmament on the peninsula.