North Korea is blaming the United States for deadlocked nuclear negotiations, vowing they will 'never be resumed' unless Washington abandons demands for disarmament.
U.S. President Donald Trump's second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi ended in February without agreements on sanctions relief for Pyongyang and on concessions the North would make regarding its banned nuclear and ballistic programs.
A statement issued Friday through Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency, citing a North Korean spokesman, accused the U.S. of intentionally causing the talks to collapse with impossible demands.
The statement said North Korea 'took crucial and meaningful measures,' including the discontinuation of nuclear and ballistic missile testing and steps toward the 'repatriation of the American POW/MIA remains.' But instead of responding to 'our goodwill measures in the same manner,' the statement said the U.S. 'deliberately pushed the talks to a rupture by merely claiming the unilateral disarmament of the DPRK,' a reference to North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
North Korea said the U.S. 'would not be able to move us even an inch with the device it is now weighing in its mind, and the further its mistrust and hostile acts towards DPRK grow, the fiercer our reaction will be.'
The U.S. has maintained the talks failed because of North Korean demands for sanctions relief in exchange for a partial dismantling of its nuclear programs.
After the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit, Pyongyang also slowed the pace of talks with South Korea, which seeks warmer relations with its northern neighbor and a bigger role in reviving U.S.-North Korean talks.
Pyongyang's statement came just hours before Trump travels to Japan for a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in which the North Korean nuclear issue will likely be a top agenda item.