North Korea threatens to stall denuclearization in warning to US

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11 August, 2018

North Korea warned Thursday that there could be no progress in its denuclearization as it accused some senior USA officials of trying to strengthen global sanctions on Pyongyang.

The foreign ministry in Pyongyang accused the United States of following an "outdated acting script" and demanded more concessions before offering any in return.

A statement from the nation's Foreign Ministry said that following President Trump's June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North has worked to improve relations between the two countries and "make active contributions to peace, security, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and over the world".

Two U.S. officials said North Korea appeared to view Trump as a softer touch.

Yet, it said, Washington was still insisting on "denuclearization first" and had "responded to our expectation by inciting worldwide sanctions and pressure" it said.

Washington has said that sanctions will not be lifted until Pyongyang fully and finally dismantles its nuclear weapons.

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In a statement, the North Korean foreign ministry accused the U.S. of "insulting the dialogue partner and throwing cold water over our honest efforts for building confidence which can be seen as a precondition for implementing" the agreement between Trump and Kim. Among the agreements was holding another inter-Korean summit in the fall in Pyongyang. Pompeo's comments came on the heels of a United Nations report that found North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and is violating U.N. sanctions, including through illicit ship-to-ship transfers of oil.

Since then, Pyongyang had taken "such practical denuclearization steps" as discontinuing nuclear and ballistic missile tests as well as "broadminded measures" such as returning the remains of Korean War dead, North Korean foreign ministry said.

South Korea's Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-keum said on Monday Seoul is "asking North Korea to speed up its denuclearization" and asking the United States to "show honest efforts about corresponding measures that North Korea is demanding".

The North noted that they returned remains of US soldiers who fought in the Korean War to the USA last week.

North Korean officials have toured China to discuss economic development and speculators are snapping up property along their common border. They said that when a session with Pompeo reached an impasse last month, North Korean officials asked if he would like to step outside to call the president, who declared after the June summit that North Korea was 'no longer a nuclear threat'.

They imported North Korean coal or pig iron in seven separate cases between April and October previous year to five South Korean ports, on the Jin Ao, Rich Vigor, Shining Rich and other vessels, the customs office said. An article Thursday in the Rodong Sinmun said a formal peace treaty ending the Korean War must take place before denuclearization. It also wasn't clear when another leaders' summit might happen.

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