North Korea on Sunday condemned the United States for stepping up sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang, warning of a return to “exchanges of fire”, Reuters reports.
While crediting US President Donald Trump for his “willingness” to improve relations, Pyongyang accused the US State Department of being “bent on bringing the DPRK-U.S. relations back to the status of last year which was marked by exchanges of fire,” the report said.
North Korea’s foreign ministry was quoted as saying in a statement that Washington had taken “sanctions measures for as many as eight times against the companies, individuals and ships of not only the DPRK but also Russia, China and other third countries…”
If the US administration believes that heightened sanctions and pressure would force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons, “it will count as (its) greatest miscalculation, and it will block the path to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula forever – a result desired by no one,” the statement said.
The sharp words came after the United States said that it had introduced sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, for alleged human rights abuses.
North Korea denuclearization plan has seen little progress since Kim and Trump met in Singapore in June in a historic summit.
The two sides have yet to reschedule working-level talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong-chol, which were canceled abruptly in November, the report noted.
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