N. Korea says US 'throwing cold water' on denuclearisation progress

White House national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday said North Korea has not taken the necessary steps to denuclearize despite an agreement between Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in June.

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. Notably, the statement didn't directly criticize Trump.

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Pyongyang and said progress on denuclearization promises could not be expected if Washington continues to follow an "outdated acting script".

The statement accused USA diplomats of "baseless allegations" against North Korea.

Yet, it said, Washington was still insisting on "denuclearization first" and had "responded to our expectation by inciting global sanctions and pressure" it said.

The statement cited US officials who are "going against President Trump" and his intent to advance relations between the two nations, saying that the president has expressed "gratitude to our goodwill measures" implemented as part of the agreement.

Washington has said that sanctions will not be lifted until Pyongyang fully and finally dismantles its nuclear weapons.

One diplomatic source in Washington said, "The U.S. informed South Korea through the embassy that a ship went to South Korea from Russian Federation carrying North Korean coal".

The Foreign Ministry passed on the tipoff to the Korea Customs Service, but the shipments had already been registered and 9,156 tons unloaded in South Korean ports.

The concessions the USA would offer in exchange - beyond sanctions relief or removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism - remain unknown.

Since then, Pyongyang had taken "such practical denuclearization steps" as discontinuing nuclear and ballistic missile tests as well as "broadminded measures" such as returning the remains of Korean War dead, North Korean foreign ministry said.

"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 document only states that the two Koreas will declare an end to the Korean War by the end of this year.

Fox anchor Jillian Mele read the last story in the headline segment, which depicted from North Korea of Kim Jong Un taking his wife on a tour of a fish pickling factory, starting out the segment saying that "Kim Jong Un is quite the romantic". The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the fighting ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

Seoul said yesterday that officials from the North and South would meet on Monday to plan for a third summit between Kim and Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president.

Vanessa Coleman

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