U.S. calls on North Korea to fulfill Singapore joint statement

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Sept. 15 (UPI) — The U.S. diplomat on East Asian and Pacific Affairs called on North Korea to carry out its obligations in the 2018 Singapore agreement following a virtual meeting of the ASEAN Regional Security Forum that included the North Korean ambassador to Indonesia.

David Stilwell said at the debriefing on Tuesday the key to recovery for North Korea in the aftermath of bad weather was the execution of the joint statement of President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, Yonhap reported.

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“Regarding the flooding, the typhoons, the situation in North Korea…all of these things could be addressed if we had a follow-through on the Singapore agreement, to begin talks, sincere conversation on denuclearization,” Stilwell said.

According to the statement signed in 2018, Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea. Kim in turn “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” North Korea has refused to take steps toward complete dismantlement, however.

North Korean Ambassador to Indonesia An Kwang Il attended ARF on Saturday in place of Foreign Minister Ri Son Kwon, South Korean news service Newsis reported Tuesday.

An claimed during the virtual meeting North Korea has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. The ambassador credited the North Korean leadership with the country’s success in fighting the coronavirus.

An did not provide details on North Korea’s experience with pandemic prevention, according to the report.

The annual forum is one of the few regional meetings North Korea has attended on a regular basis. On Saturday, An defended Chinese policy in Hong Kong and in the South China Sea.

Hong Kong is “China’s internal affairs,” and “outside forces” are interfering with Chinese sovereignty and violating international law, An said.

China has blamed the West, including the United States, for encouraging pro-democracy protesters amid greater restrictions against freedom of expression in Hong Kong.