North Korea must ‘demonstrate its sincerity to negotiate on its denuclearisation’, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday after Pyongyang threatened to cancel its summit with US President Donald Trump.
‘Highs and lows can come along as the recent news from the peninsula shows, but we must not lose sight of the goal,’ Le Drian said during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Referring to the ‘complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the peninsula’, Le Drian added that ‘France therefore expects from North Korea the implementation of all its international obligations as well as specific commitments to demonstrate its sincerity to negotiate a gradual abandonment of its nuclear and ballistic programmes’.
After weeks of warm words and diplomatic backslapping, Pyongyang on Tuesday abruptly threatened to pull out of the summit – scheduled for mid-June in Singapore – over US demands for ‘unilateral nuclear abandonment’.
The North Korean charm offensive has seen leader Kim Jong Un hold a historic summit with the South’s president and meet twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Pyongyang also raised denuclearisation hopes ahead of the US summit by announcing it would destroy its nuclear testing site next week.
Analysts said Pyongyang appeared to be trying to redefine the terms of the debate.