Asia-Pacific

North Korea raps US for pressing sanctions

North Korea has again rebuked the US over its sanctions, saying progress on a denuclearisation deal can't be expected unless Washington changes its stance.

North Korea says progress on denuclearisation promises cannot be expected if Washington continues to follow an "outdated acting script."

It has also accused the US of pushing for international sanctions in spite of goodwill moves by Pyongyang.

A foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement on state-run KCNA on Thursday that North Korea was still willing to implement a broad agreement made at the landmark June 12 summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The two sides vowed to work towards North Korea's denuclearisation but have struggled to reach a deal, with the United States insisting sanctions pressure must be maintained during negotiations.

North Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday it had stopped testing missiles, conducted nuclear tests and dismantled "the nuclear test ground," yet the US still insisted on "denuclearisation first."

Pyongyang had also returned of the remains of some US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean war in a goodwill measure aimed at breaking down mistrust between the countries, it said.

"However, the US responded to our expectation by inciting international sanctions and pressure against the DPRK," the statement said.

The United States was "attempting to invent a pretext for increased sanctions against the DPRK."

"As long as the US ... clings to the outdated acting script which the previous administrations have all tried and failed, one cannot expect any progress in the implementation of the DPRK-US joint statement including the denuclearisation," it said.

The White House and State Department did not immediately return requests for comment.

North Korea also accused unidentified high-level US officials of "going against the intention of President Trump" by "making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the international sanctions and pressure."

On Wednesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said her country was "not willing to wait for too long" for North Korea to take steps toward denuclearising.

"This is all in North Korea's court," Haley told reporters travelling with her during a visit to Colombia.

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