Korea slams USA officials for sanctions

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North Korea on Thursday accused the United States of acting in bad faith, saying Washington's push for full sanctions pressure against Pyongyang would stall progress on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with US President Donald Trump.

In an April summit, President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to seek such declaration this year through three-way meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States or four-way talks involving the two Koreas, the USA and China. It also claims that "high-level officials within the US administration are making baseline allegations against [North Korea] and making desperate attempts at intensifying the global sanctions and pressure".

The statement cited USA officials who are "going against President Trump" and his intent to advance relations between the two nations, saying that the president has expressed "gratitude to our goodwill measures" implemented as part of the agreement.

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

The White House and US State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Pyongyang's state media has highlighted it has made goodwill gestures, such as a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

With such moves, "one can not expect any progress in the implementation of North Korea-US joint statement including the denuclearization, and furthermore, there is no guarantee that the hard-won atmosphere of stability on the Korean Peninsula will continue", said the spokesperson.

Asked about the possibility of additional meetings, Bolton said Trump in a recent letter to Kim proposed sending Pompeo back to North Korea, and that Trump was ready to meet with Kim any time.

On Wednesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the United States was "not willing to wait for too long" for North Korea to take steps towards denuclearising.

North Korea has condemned the USA for placing fresh sanctions on it and called on the country to respond to its efforts to improve bilateral ties.

The report said: "North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions".

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