News ID: 267140
Published: 1152 GMT March 30, 2020

N Korea: Pompeo’s sanction remarks 'ludicrous'; ‘We will walk our way’

N Korea: Pompeo’s sanction remarks 'ludicrous'; ‘We will walk our way’

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's official news agency KCNA quoted an unknown North Korean official in charge of negotiations with the US as saying in a statement that Pompeo was undermining Pyongyang’s willingness to return to dialogue, Press TV reported. 

The US secretary of state said last week that all nations must remain united in calling for North Korea to return to negotiations, urging the international community to "stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure" over Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"Listening to Pompeo's ludicrous language made us give up on any hopes for dialogue," the KCNA quoted the official as saying, adding, "We will walk our way.”

The American diplomat had "unleashed insult at a country with which his president was willing to forge a good relationship," the official continued, referring to US President Donald Trump's letter sent to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to express intent to cooperate in anti-corona efforts.

"It is puzzling who the real commander in chief is in the US," the North Korean official said.

The criticism was leveled after the KCNA confirmed that the North had successfully tested "super-large multiple rocket launchers" a day earlier.

On Sunday, South Korean and Japanese radars picked up the launch of two unidentified projectiles into the ocean off North Korea’s east coast. The projectiles were launched from the coastal Wonsan area and flew 230 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometers.

The United Nations, the United States, South Korea, and some others have imposed multiple sets of sanctions on North Korea over its weapons programs. But Pyongyang has refused to abandon those programs amid substantial military presence by the US on and around the Korean Peninsula.

The US holds regular war games with South Korea and Japan, which are seen by Pyongyang as “rehearsal for invasion.”

Since December last year, North Korea has test-fired multiple rockets and missiles. Back then, the North Korean leader ended a moratorium on the country’s missile tests and said North Korea would soon develop a “new strategic weapon.”

The ending of the moratorium came after Pyongyang had been offered no sanctions relief by the US despite several unilateral measures aimed at demilitarization.

The last summit between Kim and Trump broke down in Vietnam more than a year ago and negotiations have since been deadlocked over US sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.

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