North Korean coal entered its ports illegally: South Korea

North Korean coal entered its ports illegally: South Korea

The statement cited USA officials who are "going against President Trump" and his intent to advance relations between the two nations, saying that the president has expressed "gratitude to our goodwill measures" implemented as part of the agreement.

The rival Koreas will meet Monday for high-level talks meant to prepare for a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South Korea said Thursday, the third such meetings between the leaders in recent months.

North Korea on Thursday threatened to stall the denuclearization of its missile program if the USA continues to abide by an "outdated acting script" amid Washington's calls to enforce sanctions against the regime.

The unidentified spokesperson also warned that there is no guarantee that the hard-won atmosphere of stability on the Korean Peninsula will continue.

The statement comes days after the U.S. stressed the need to keep up pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons programme.

In this image captured from the United States Forces Korea homepage, an official from the U.S. Department of Defense drives a nail into one of wood coffins that contain remains of American service members who died during the 1950-53 Korean War in Wonsan, North Korea in July.

Earlier on Thursday, North Korea's Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that ending the Korean War is "the first process for ensuring peace and security not only in the Korean peninsula but also in the region and the world".

Kim and Trump promised to work to end North Korea's weapons programs at their summit in Singapore, but the two countries have been struggling to reach a detailed accord to meet that goal.

With such moves, "one can not expect any progress in the implementation of North Korea-US joint statement including the denuclearization, and furthermore, there is no guarantee that the hard-won atmosphere of stability on the Korean Peninsula will continue", said the spokesperson.

The statement accused United States diplomats of "baseless allegations" against North Korea. The letter was handed to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho during the weekend.

South Korea said a total of 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and pig iron worth $5.8 million illegally entered its ports past year, in possible violations of United Nations sanctions.

Ri traveled this week to Iran, where President Hassan Rouhani told him the United States can not be trusted after the Trump administration reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's own nuclear program.

"We're going to continue to apply maximum pressure to North Korea until they denuclearize, just as we are to Iran".

North Korea rejected USA appeals to give up part of its nuclear arsenal and reaffirmed its friendship with Iran yesterday as the fragile detente between the two nuclear powers began to disintegrate. "What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearisation", he said.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri travelled this week to Iran, where President Hassan Rowhani told him the United States could not be trusted after the Trump administration reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's own nuclear programme.

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