Friday, March 2, 2012

North Korean citizens tell AP of skepticism over nuclear deal as North Korea’s military repeated threats of a “merciless sacred war” Against S.Korea

PYONGYANG, North Korea — A nuclear deal with the United States may have raised hopes that tensions on the Korean peninsula could ease soon, but rare interviews Friday by The Associated Press with Pyongyang residents suggest deep cynicism of U.S. intentions.

North Korea’s military, meanwhile, repeated threats of a “merciless sacred war” against South Korea — highlighting the lingering animosity between the divided Koreas despite the North’s diplomatic breakthrough with Washington.

The U.S.-North Korea announcement of an agreement to freeze North Korea’s nuclear activities in exchange for food aid was seen in Washington as a promising first step toward discussing nuclear disarmament. But in North Korea’s capital, where citizens are taught from childhood to hate Americans, skepticism ran deep.

“I heard the news, but I’m not very excited,” Jong Yun Hui, 43, told the AP. She said many rounds of talks over the years have failed to result in food or much-needed energy.

“I have no faith in the U.S.,” she said. North Koreans are subject to daily propaganda, and the views of those interviewed often reflected what is said by the government. Read More