North Korea Says US "Throwing Water" Over Confidence-Building Efforts

Iran parade missile

North Korea accused the United States on Thursday of pushing for global sanctions despite goodwill moves by Pyongyang and said progress on denuclearization promises could not be expected if Washington continues to follow an "outdated acting script".

Ri travelled to Tehran after attending a security forum in Singapore, where he and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparred over an agreement made at June's landmark summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"However, the United States responded to our expectation by inciting global sanctions and pressure against the DPRK", it said in a statement carried by KCNA news agency.

"The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner", the ministry said.

It continued: "Now, the issue in question is that going against the intention of President Trump to advance the DPRK - US relations, some high level officials within the US administration are making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the worldwide sanctions and pressure".

"Dealing with Americans is hard, and as our main goal is total disarmament of the whole Korean Peninsula, it is necessary that the Americans also abide by their commitments but they refuse to do so".

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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 USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War. Some experts say that North Korea does not want to denuclearize first or maybe denuclearize at all because it wants a long, drawn-out process that sees external aid shipped in in return for abandoning nuclear weapons.

North Korea rejected United States appeals to give up part of its nuclear arsenal and reaffirmed its friendship with Iran yesterday as the fragile detente between the two nuclear powers began to disintegrate.

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

The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 fighting ended with a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, also said this week North Korea has not taken the necessary steps to denuclearise. But across the region, there have been signs that U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign for "maximum pressure" lost steam after Pyongyang sought to improve relations with Washington, Seoul and Beijing.

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