North Korea's KCNA news agency has cited the country's Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that Washington "is misleading the public opinion" by claiming that the DPRK's readiness for denuclearization is "the result of so-called sanctions and pressure."
"The US is deliberately provoking the DPRK at the time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation thanks to the historic north-south summit and the Panmunjom Declaration," the spokesperson emphasized.
The spokesperson described the White House's move as nothing but a "dangerous attempt to ruin the hardly-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one."
"It would not be conducive to address the issue if the U.S. miscalculates the peace-loving intention of the DPRK as a sign of "weakness" and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats against the latter.
The statement came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sat down for high-level talks in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27.
During the negotiations, the two men signed a joint declaration agreeing to take measures to support international efforts aimed at the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and proceed with reunion programs for separated Korean families.
Right after the Panmunjom summit, US President Donald Trump tweeted that "after a furious year of missile launches and nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place." According to Trump, "good things are happening, but only time will tell!"
In mid-April, Trump confirmed that talks between the United States and North Korea are taking place at "very high levels," shortly before news broke that CIA Director Mike Pompeo had personally met Kim Jong-un following Pompeo's nomination as US secretary of state.
Also in March, Trump tweeted that despite "great progress" in talks between Pyongyang and Seoul, "sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached." Earlier, the White House said that it would maintain "maximum pressure" on North Korea to wrap up its nuclear program ahead of Trump's meeting with Kim.
In late February, Washington announced its largest package of sanctions to prod Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs. Trump warned of a "phase two" that he said would be "very unfortunate for the world" if the sanctions flop.