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DPRK criticizes USA for imposing new sanctions against its officials

19 December, 2018, 09:13 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • North Korea condemns US-blacklisting of 3 officials

North Korea also condemned the United States administration for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the nuclear-armed country, warning that disarming Pyongyang could be blocked forever.

"The U.S. should realize before it is too late that "maximum pressure" would not work against us and take a honest approach to implementing the Singapore DPRK-U.S".

Singapore: In this file photo taken on June 12, 2018, US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore.

Trump, who has said he will hold a second summit with Kim sometime next year, has also played down hopes for any imminent deal to persuade the North to give up its nuclear arsenal. Pyongyang has broadened its signaling, too.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency instead ran stories about memorials to Kim Jong Il in Libya, Russia and Serbia.

A second summit is expected to be held between USA and North Korea next year.

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Biegun reportedly is slated to visit South Korea in the coming days to strategize with officials there on ways to salvage the denuclearization negotiations with the North. These drills had been suspended earlier this year to aid in the confidence-building necessary for diplomacy.

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In a statement carried on the official state media, North Korea's foreign ministry denounced new U.S. sanctions, including the listing of one of Kim Jong-un's right-hand men.

Park Hwee-rhak, a professer of politics at Kookmin University in Seoul, told ABC News that North Korea "is extremely afraid to pursue hardline provocations".

"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.

All of this points to a calibrated message from North Korea as 2019 comes around.

Despite the apparent lack of urgency, the USA leader has expressed some optimism, saying North Korea's economy has "wonderful potential" and that Kim "sees it better than anyone and will fully take advantage of it for his people".

Across multiple statements this year since the Singapore summit, Pyongyang has been careful not to commit itself to a particular course of action.

Sunday's statement from Pyongyang similarly steered clear of directly criticizing Mr. Trump.

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