N.Korea slams Pompeo over remarks on increased pressure

Hanoi: This AP photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (4th from R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (4th from L) at a dinner meeting at a Hanoi hotel on Feb. 27, 2019. Two American officials — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (back, R) and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (front, R) — and two North Korean officials — Kim Yong-chol, a senior Workers’ Party official (far L), and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho (front, L) — also joined the meeting. (Yonhap/IANS)

Seoul, March 31 (IANS) North Korea has slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for seeking continued international pressure against Pyongyang while calling for the resumption of dialogue, state media reported.

In a statement carried by the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the country’s “new director” in charge of negotiations with the US threatened Pyongyang will take its “own way” amid stalled talks over its nuclear program, the Seoul-based Yonhap news Agency reported.

The official accused Pompeo of encouraging other nations to stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure against North Korea during a press conference last week after a video conference among foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) major economies.

“The initiative for dialogue that the U.S. has proposed to earn time and create environments favourable for its president was seriously damaged,” the statement said. “His words led us to lose will for dialogue for sure again.”

The official then claimed: “However great and strong the friendly relationship between the leaders of the two nations is, it cannot change the U.S.’ hostile policy against us.”

US President Donald Trump has boasted of his good relations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Last week, North Korea said that Trump sent a personal letter to Kim and expressed his intention to help Pyongyang fight against the coronavirus. B

ut Pyongyang has not responded to the US offer, according to Pompeo.

The North Korean official then warned the US not to provoke the North, which would only to lead to adverse consequences.

Negotiations between the two sides on the North’s nuclear weapons program have been stalled since the no-deal Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim last February to wide differences over the scope of Pyongyang’s denuclearization measures and Washington’s sanctions relief.

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