North Korea Says US "Throwing Water" Over Confidence-Building Efforts

North Korea Says US

North Korea Says US "Throwing Water" Over Confidence-Building Efforts

South Korea says a total of 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and pig iron worth $5.8 million illegally entered its ports past year, in possible violations of United Nations sanctions.

USA officials have declined to comment on a report on the Vox news website on Wednesday saying that North Korea had repeatedly rejected a US proposal for it to cut its nuclear arsenal by 60 to 70 per cent within six to eight months.

North Korea on Thursday accused the United States of acting in bad faith, saying Washington's push for full sanctions pressure against Pyongyang would stall progress on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

"We hoped that these goodwill measures would contribute to breaking down the high barrier of mistrust" between Pyongyang and Washington, the North's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up the document that he and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un had signed at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island, June 12, 2018, in Singapore. Last month, Washington warned against loosening sanctions on Pyongyang after Russian Federation and China suggested discussing such a move.

Two U.S. officials said North Korea appeared to view Trump as a softer touch.

Bolton, in an interview on Fox News, said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was prepared to return to North Korea for another meeting with Kim.

Two South Korean under-15 teams, FC Gangwon and Yeoncheon Miracle, will compete in the Ari Sports Cup in Pyongyang.

"The idea that we're going to relax the sanctions just on North Korea's say-so, I think, is something that just isn't under consideration", he said.

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The foreign ministry said that despite their efforts to work with the US - by stopping their missile launches and nuclear tests - America continues to insist on "denuclearization first", and continues to encourage worldwide sanctions against the North.

North Korea has condemned the USA for placing fresh sanctions on it and called on the country to respond to its efforts to improve bilateral ties.

North Korean officials have toured China to discuss economic development and speculators are snapping up property along their common border.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet for the third time in recent months.

A South Korean coach said the "rare opportunity" to play football in the North's capital would be a "great experience" for his players regardless of the end result.

They imported North Korean coal or pig iron in seven separate cases between April and October previous year to five South Korean ports, on the Jin Ao, Rich Vigor, Shining Rich and other vessels, the customs office said.

The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 fighting ended with a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

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

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