North Korea threatens to stall denuclearization in warning to US

John Bolton Says North Korea Hasn't Done Much To Rid Itself Of Nuclear Weapons

The latest statement by the North's foreign ministry also accused U.S. officials of "going against the intention of President Trump" by "making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the global sanctions and pressure".

The United States has led the sanctions campaign to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

Even so, the US has responded, "by inciting global sanctions and pressure", the statement, carried by the official KCNA news agency, said.

Last month, North Korea accused the USA of using "gangster-like" tactics in the negotiations.

Pyongyang also returned the remains of some USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean war in a gesture meant to break down mistrust between the countries, it said.

The North Korean statement followed comments this week by top American diplomats stressing the need for Pyongyang to take additional steps toward denuclearisation.

The comments come less than two months after Trump met in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after which the president proclaimed a historic breakthrough in relations.

Despite agreeing in April to a Pyongyang summit, President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un went ahead with a surprise meeting in May at the truce village of Panmunjom, but that time on the Northern side. "We're going to continue to apply maximum pressure to North Korea until they denuclearize, just as we are to Iran".

But a recent United Nations report showed Pyongyang was continuing with its nuclear and missile programmes and evading sanctions through ship-to-ship oil transfers.

South Korea started looking into allegations of North Korean coal imports back in October and the government was criticized over how long it was taking to investigate.

The rival Koreas plan to hold high-level talks on Monday to prepare for a third summit between their leaders, as Pyongyang called on the United States to reciprocate its "goodwill measures" by easing sanctions and stopping demands that the North denuclearize first.

North Korea has chafed at USA insistence that no sanctions be eased until Pyongyang's disarms its nuclear weapons.

Yesterday, Pyongyang reiterated its own demand for the USA to agree to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.

"The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner", North Korea added in its statement. The joint statement released after the event, however, was vague at best and provided no clear pathway for Kim to do so.

In May, an official statement said "we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards" Bolton after he suggested Libya as a potential model for future North Korean denuclearization.

However, the statement offered the US a way forward if it responds sincerely "even at this belated time".

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