Published: Mon, December 17, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

North Korea condemns USA over sanctions

North Korea condemns USA over sanctions

North Korea has repeatedly urged the scale back sanctions in exchange for the regime taking steps toward denuclearization.

Economic sanctions imposed by the United States are obstructing the diplomatic path to denuclearisation, the North Korean government has warned, in a plea to President Trump to rein in hardline officials in his administration.

Instead, according to a Reuters report, the statement credited the president for his "willingness" to improve relations with the North, even as it accused the State Department of being "bent" on bringing relations "back to the status of previous year which was marked by exchanges of fire".

President Donald Trump said Friday that he is in "no hurry" to reach a deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The statement by the policy research director of the Institute for American Studies of the foreign ministry accused the United States of "deliberate provocation" over the sanctions on the three officials.

"DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]-US relations are advancing along the steadfast will of the top leaders", says the statement, attributed to an official of the country's foreign ministry.

It said that despite the "good faith" established in the June summit meeting in Singapore between Mr Kim and Mr Trump, sanctions threaten to return the peninsula to the edge of war.

But on Monday (Dec 17) its nuclear assets were conspicuous by their explicit absence from coverage of the seventh anniversary of the death of Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, on whose watch Pyongyang carried out its first two nuclear tests.

North Korea's sharp rebuke came after the U.S. said last week it had introduced sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to Kim, for alleged human rights abuses.

Alongside extensive coverage of commemorative events across the country, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, published a lengthy editorial lauding Kim Jong Il's efforts to secure a "firm military assurance for peace and prosperity".

Trump's tweeted statement came in response, he said, to "many people" asking how the USA negotiations with North Korea were going.

If Washington believes the policy of increased sanctions and pressure would force the North to give up its nuclear weapons, "it will count as greatest miscalculation, and it will block the path to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula forever", the statement added.

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