North Korea has denounced as “ludicrous” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on maintaining international sanctions on the country, warning that Pyongyang could abandon denuclearization talks with Washington.
North Korea said on Tuesday the United States had ignored a deadline for nuclear talks and it no longer felt bound by its commitments, which included a halt to nuclear testing and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, and may seek "a new path."
A North Korean official on Saturday said that the US and South Korea are dreaming if they think that President Donald Trump’s sending a birthday message would get leader Kim Jong-un back to the negotiating table.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for his military and diplomats to prepare unspecified “offensive measures” to protect the country’s security and sovereignty, the North’s state media said on Monday, before his end-of-year deadline for the US to make major concessions to salvage a fragile nuclear diplomacy.
The United States has flown four surveillance planes over the Korean Peninsula at the same time, according to an aviation tracker Wednesday, amid heightened concern that North Korea could test-fire a long-range missile as a "Christmas gift" to Washington.
North Korea lashed back at the United States for hitting out at Pyongyang’s human rights record on Saturday, saying Washington’s “malicious words” would only aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, state news agency KCNA reported.
The United States is reportedly watching North Korea closely for indications of a possible "Christmas surprise" missile test, which it has promised if Washington does not come to the negotiating table.
North Korea said Sunday that it carried out a “very important test” at its long-range rocket launch site that it reportedly rebuilt after having partially dismantled it at the start of denuclearization talks with the United States last year.