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North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui on the Hanoi Summit

Choe Son Hui Press Conference | February 28, 2019

In comments to the press following the collapse of the Hanoi summit, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui who entered the global spotlight last year with her assessment of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as a “political dummy” for likening North Korea to Libya, noted that Kim Jong Un “may have lost the appetite for negotiations after seeing the U.S. reaction to our unprecedented proposal of dismantling the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety.”

Translation of press conference  (Korean follows below)

Choe Son Hui: We’ll take questions regarding our Foreign Affairs Minister’s statement.

– When would Chairman Kim Jong Un visit Seoul?

Choe: Please limit your questions to DPRK-US Summit.

– What are the additional measures the United States demanded?

Choe: As the Minister clarified, what we proposed was historically significant. We proposed the permanent dismantling of all the nuclear facilities in their entirety at Yongbyon, including all the plutonium facilities and all the uranium facilities, in the presence of U.S. experts. In return, we proposed, as the Minister mentioned, that the United States lift the 5 sanctions that are closely related with livelihood of civilian economy. By rejecting this proposal, the United States is missing out on a golden opportunity for peace.

-What are the 5 sanctions related to civilian livelihood?

Choe: The 5 sanctions we proposed lifting do not include any sanctions related to the military. We only proposed lifting the sanctions that are related to civilian economic livelihood. Since 2016, there have been 6 sanctions resolutions against DPRK. Including Res. 2280, there are 5 that we want to see lifted, but even among those, we did not propose to scrap them 100%, only those parts that are directly related civilian livelihood.

What we proposed was dismantling the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety and inviting U.S. nuclear experts to join uss. As I watched this Summit, I felt our Chairman was struggling to understand the U.S. calculation and approach to the negotiations. Going forward, I am afraid that our Chairman may have lost the appetite for negotiations after seeing the U.S. reaction to our unprecedented proposal of dismantling of Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety.

– When would be the next Summit?

Choe: Not decided yet. There is no agreement on the next Summit (or negotiations) yet.

– What is DPRK’s position on declaring the Nuclear List?

Choe: I’d like to mention that the American nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker visited the uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon Nuclear Complex. What we proposed is to completely, irreversibly dismantle such a enormous facility, including the enriched uranium facility. However, there was no appropriate response from the United States. Therefore, I do not know if such opportunity will be presented to the United States again. Thank you.

_______________________________________________________________

최선희 부상 : 우리 외무상 동지가 한 기자회견에서 의문시되거나 물어볼 것이 있으면 몇가지 질문만 받겠습니다. (김정은 위원장 서울 답방 하시나요?) 회담과 관련된 질문만 국한시켜주십시요.

Choe Son Hui Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister

Choe: We’ll take questions regarding our Foreign Affairs Minister’s statement.

– 김정은 위원장은 언제 서울 답방하나요? – When would Chairman Kim Jong Un visit Seoul?

Choe: Please limit your questions to DPRK-US Summit.

– 미국이 요구한 추가 조치는?

– What are the additional measures the United States demanded?

최선희 부상: 영변 지구와 관련해서 이번에 우리가 내놓은 안은 외무상이 밝힌 바와 같이 영변 핵 단지 전체 그 안에 들어있는 모든 플루토늄 시설, 모든 우라늄 시설 포함한 모든 핵시설을 통채로 미국 전문가 입회 하에 영구적으로 폐기할 데 대한 역사적으로 제안하지 않았던 제안을 이번에 했습니다. 그 대신 우리가 미국 측에 요구한 것은 외무상동지가 밝힌 바와 같이 제재결의 중에서 민생용 민수용 제재 5건에 대해서 해제할 것을 요구했습니다. 이러한 제안에 대해서 미국측이 이번에 받아들이지 않은 것은 천재일우의 기회를 놓친것이나 같다고 생각합니다.

Choe: As the Minister clarified what we proposed was to historically significant. We proposed permanent dismantling of all the nuclear facilities in its entirety, including all the plutonium facilities and all the uranium facilities with the presence of US experts. In return, we proposed, as the Minister mentioned, the US lift the 5 sanctions that are closely related with livelihood of civilian economy. Rejection of such proposal by the US is missing out on a golden opportunity for peace.

-민생을 위한 5가지 제재는? -What are the 5 sanctions related to civilian livelihood?

최선희 부상: 민생과 관련해서는 우리가 제안한 5가지 제재 결의에서 군수용은 요구하지 않습니다 아직까지는. 그러나 민생과 관련돼서 인민생활 경제발전과 관련된 그 부분에 대한 사항들이 제재 해제를 요구하였을 뿐입니다. 결의 제재가 2016년부터 취한 대조선 결의가 6건이 됩니다. 그 중에서 2270호 등 5개 인데, 여기에서 이 가운데서도 100%가 아니고 민생과 관련된 부분만 제재를 해제할 것을 요구한 것입니다.

Choe: The 5 sanctions we proposed lifting do not include any sanctions related to military. We only proposed to lift the sanctions that are related to civilian economic livelihood. Since 2016, there are 6 sanctions resolutions against DPRK. Including Res.2280, there are 5 that we want to see lifted, but even among those, we did not propose to scrap 100%, only those parts that are directly related civilian livelihood.

우리가 제안한 것은 영변 핵단지 전체에 대한 폐기입니다. 여기에서 실행할 때는 미국 핵전문가들이 와서 입회하게끔 돼 있다. 이번에 제가 수뇌회담을 옆에서 보면서 우리 국무위원장 동지께서 미국에서 하는 미국식 계산법에 대해서 리해하기 힘들어 하지 않시지 않는가, 리해가 잘 가지 않아서 하는 듯한 느낌을 받았습니다. 앞으로 이렇게 지난식에 있어보지 못한 영변 핵단지를 통채로 폐기할 데 대한 그런 제안을 내놨음에도 불구하고 민수용 제재 결의 부분적인 결의까지 해제하기 어렵다는 미국측의 반응을 보면서 우리 국무위원장 동지께서 앞으로의 조미 거래에 대해서 의욕을 잃지 않으시지 않았는가 하는 느낌을 받았습니다.

What we proposed was dismantling of the Yongbyon Nuclear  Complex in its entirety. And when we are executing the dismantling, we’ll invite (US) nuclear experts. As I witness this Summit, I felt our Chairman was struggling to understand the US’s calculation and approach to the negotiations. Going forward, I am afraid that our Chairman may have lost the appetite for negotiations after seeing the US’s reaction to our unpresented proposal of dismantling of Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in its entirety.

– 다음번 회담은? – When would be the next Summit?

최선희 부상: : 아직 정해진 것은 없습니다. 다음번 회담이 정해진 것은 없습니다. Choe: Not decided yet. There is no agreement on next Summit(or negotiations) yet.

– 핵리스트 제출에 대한 북한의 입장은?

– What is DPRK’s position on declaring of the Nuclear List?

최선희 부상: 제가 한 가지 강조하고 싶은 것은 미국의 핵 박사 지그프리드 헤커 박사가 영변 핵시설에 있는 농축우라늄 시설을 방문한 적이 있습니다. 그러한 공장까지도 거대한 농축 우라늄 공장까지 포함한 모든 핵시설을 우리가 이번에 영구적으로 되돌릴 수 없게 폐기할 데 대한 제안을 했지만 여기에 대한 미국 측의 대답이 호응이 없었습니다. 그래서 앞으로 이러한 기회가 다시 미국측에 차려지겠는지에 대해서는 저도 장담하기 힘듭니다. 감사합니다.

Choe: I’d like to mention that the American nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker visited the uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon Nuclear Complex. What we proposed is to completely, irreversibly dismantle such a enormous facility, including the enriched uranium facility. However, there was no appropriate response from the US. Therefore, I do not know if such opportunity will be presented to the US again. Thank you.

Video of press conference


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