North Korean foreign minister says country will never disarm nuclear weapons without trust in US

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho addressed the United Nations General Assembly Saturday. (United Nations)

North Korea says it will never disarm nuclear weapons if it can’t trust Washington.

“Without any trust in the U.S., there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Saturday at the United Nations.

At the annual gathering of world leaders, Ri called on the United States to follow through on promises made during the summit in Singapore between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, according to the Associated Press.

The refusal to ease sanctions is deepening its mistrust of the U.S., Ri said, according to Reuters.

“The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant about us. But the problem is that the continued sanctions are deepening our mistrust,” Ri said.

The diplomat's comments come as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seems to be on the verge of restarting deadlocked nuclear diplomacy more than three months after the summit.

Washington is wary of agreeing to a declaration ending the Korean War without Pyongyang first making significant disarmament moves.

Both Kim and Trump want a second summit. But there is widespread skepticism that Pyongyang is serious about renouncing an arsenal that the country likely sees as the only way to guarantee its safety.

Pompeo is planning to visit Pyongyang next month to prepare for a second Kim-Trump summit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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