01:26 GMT +321 August 2018
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    In this June 12, 2018, photo, US President Donald Trump makes a statement before saying goodbye to North Korea leader Kim Jong-un after their meetings at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore

    N Korean FM Slams US' Stance on Pyongyang's Denuclearization Drive

    © AP Photo / Susan Walsh, Pool
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    In late July, US President Donald Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for making "terrific progress" toward peace, saying that "for nine months, no nuclear tests, no rockets are going up, no missiles are going over Japan."

    Speaking at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) session on Saturday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho berated the US for what he described as its attempts to move away from initial steps to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula.

    Ri underscored that all this comes as Pyongyang initiated a spate of "goodwill measures", including "a moratorium on nuclear tests and rocket launch tests as well as dismantling of a nuclear test ground."

    READ MORE: US Says North Korea Violated UN Sanctions at Least 89 Times in 2018 — Reports

    "However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] and showing the attitude (that it may) backtrack, even from declaring the end of the [1950-1953 Korean] war, a very basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean Peninsula," he pointed out.

    Ri signaled North Korea's determination to adhere to the DPRK-US Joint Statement, which was clinched during June's Pyongyang-Washington summit, in a "responsible and good-faith manner." 

    "What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old (situation), far from its leader's intention," he noted.

    READ MORE: North Korea Likely Tries to Use Expansion of Nuclear Sites as Leverage Over US

    Ri's remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged other countries to strictly enforce UN sanctions against Pyongyang, emphasizing the significance of "maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization that DPRK has agreed to."

    Earlier, Reuters cited a UN report as claiming that Pyongyang has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs, in violation of the United Nations sanctions.

    The Washington Post, in turn, quoted unnamed sources familiar with the information that US intelligence agencies have allegedly seen signs that North Korea was developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles, including the type that could reach the United States mainland.

    READ MORE: Normalizing US-North Korea Relations May Take Few Years — South Korean President

    At the same time, US President Donald Trump said during a speech in Granite City, Illinois, last week that Kim Jong-un was making great progress toward peace on the Korean Peninsula after the two leaders held their historic summit in Singapore on June 12.

    On that day, Trump and Kim specifically signed an agreement stipulating that North Korea will denuclearize in exchange for a freeze on the US-South Korean military drills and potential sanctions relief. The White House did not specify any deadlines on the implementation of the accord.

    Pyongyang has faced several rounds of sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, conducted in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions. The restrictions have not been lifted yet despite easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    Related:

    US, S Korea Say UN Sanctions on Pyongyang to Be Kept Until Full Denuclearization
    Nuclear Program Is a 'Trump Card' Pyongyang Might Not Let Go Of – Analyst
    Pyongyang's Commitment to Denuclearization Good But Should Be Verified - Paris
    US Must Sustain Maximum Economic Pressure on Pyongyang - House Speaker
    Tags:
    sanctions, moratorium, nuclear tests, measures, attempts, peace, ASEAN, Ri Yong-ho, Korean Peninsula, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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