North Korea demands US ends hostility one year on from Singapore summit

North Korea demands US ends hostility one year on from Singapore summit

SEOUL: North Korean state media called on the United States on Tuesday (Jun 11) to "withdraw its hostile policy" towards Pyongyang or agreements made at a landmark summit in Singapore a year ago might become "a blank sheet of paper".

The statement on state news agency KCNA, echoing a similar warning last week, reflected the stalemate since a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in February collapsed.

At the Hanoi meeting, Washington sought a more immediate comprehensive denuclearisation deal while Pyongyang wanted a step-by-step process, and demanded the lifting of key economic sanctions in return for shutting down its Yongbyon nuclear complex, which the US refused.

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Since Hanoi, Pyongyang has accused Washington of acting in "bad faith" and given it until the end of the year to change its approach.

"The arrogant and unilateral US policy will never work on the DPRK, which values sovereignty," KCNA said. 

North Korea's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The report said a four-point joint statement signed by Trump and Kim on Jun 12 last year pledging to work towards a new relationship "is in danger of being a blank sheet of paper because the US is turning a blind eye to its implementation".

"There is a limit to the DPRK's patience ... now is the time for the US to withdraw its hostile policy concerning the DPRK," it said.

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Last month the North raised tensions in the region by firing short-range missiles for the first time since November 2017.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday he believed talks between North and South Korea and between the North and the United States would resume soon.

He said during a state visit to Finland that talks were underway about a third summit between North Korea and the United States, "so I don't think it's a situation that needs a third country's arrangement".

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Trump said last week he looked forward to seeing Kim at the appropriate time.

Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend the G20 summit in Japan later this month and will then visit South Korea to meet Moon and coordinate efforts for the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Monday.

Source: Reuters/AFP/ad/hm