Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

North Korea condemns new U.S. sanctions

North Korea condemns new U.S. sanctions

North Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday it had stopped testing missiles and conducting nuclear tests "followed by dismantling the nuclear test ground", and yet the United States still had insisted on "denuclearisation first".

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up the document that he and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un had signed at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

The fresh anger out of Pyongyang comes as top diplomats from the United States have strongly criticised the North's commitment to denuclearisation.

The two sides vowed to work towards North Korea's denuclearisation but have struggled to reach a deal to meet that goal, with the United States insisting sanctions pressure must be maintained during negotiations.

"However, the U.S. responded to our expectation by inciting global sanctions and pressure against North Korea", said a statement.

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 delegation, including 84 young footballers, will travel by bus to Pyongyang for their 10-day visit, marking the first overland trip by South Korean civilians to the North's capital in almost seven years.

"In the current situation, friendly countries should develop their relations and cooperation in (the) global community", he said, adding Iran and North Korea have "always had close views" on many issues.

Ri traveled this week to Iran, where President Hassan Rouhani told him the United States can not be trusted after the Trump administration reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's own nuclear program. American officials have been putting pressure on North Korea to follow its claimed suspension of nuclear tests and destruction of its nuclear test site with a handover of weapons. 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.

Bolton, in an interview on Fox News, said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was prepared to return to North Korea for another meeting with Kim.

They said it had also not agreed to definitions of the key terms of any agreement, or to any inspection of its nuclear test site, which it claims to have decommissioned, but which USA intelligence officials have said may still be operable.

North Korea's nuclear weapons program has caused global tension for decades and the rhetoric and threats from Kim and Trump had been especially hostile before their June meeting.

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

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