North Korea: We Won't Denuclearize if 'Vicious' US Actions Continue

US President Donald Trump shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the courtyard of Capella Singapore on Jun 12 2018. North Korea urged the US to take a sincere approach in implementing the Singapore DPRK-US Joint Statement

That meeting was postponed indefinitely after the two sides failed to find common ground over Pyongyang's demand for sanctions relief and calls by Washington for progress on denuclearisation.

In actions required by the US Congress, his administration said last week it would seize any US assets of the three officials for suppressing freedom of speech.

Such restrictions may have little impact on officials in one of the world's most closed countries but will have a clear symbolic force as North Korea seeks greater acceptance by the United States.

Tensions between the US and North Korea seemed to be cooling, following a year of bilateral meetings, the return of prisoners and a historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea said Mr Trump had repeatedly expressed his desire to improve relations with Pyongyang.

Sunday's developments came as North Korea marked the seventh anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il with visits to statues and vows of loyalty to his son and successor, Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong Il is believed to have died from a heart attack on December 17, 2011.

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On Dec. 10, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it would be placing sanctions on three high-ranking North Korean officials "in response to the North Korean regime's ongoing and serious human rights abuses and censorship".

Despite Pyongyang's threats, the White House remains adamant it will not ease up pressure unless North Korea shows its willing to end its nuclear weapon program and finally restore peace to the Korean Peninsula.

"A few open crenels were discovered inside an unidentified landmine area, but we confirmed they are unfunctional", said Seo Wook, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's operational headquarters, at a news briefing on Monday in Seoul, according to Newsis.

At a historic summit in June, US President Donald Trump and Kim signed a vaguely-worded statement on denuclearisation.

"Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea - I always reply by saying we are in no hurry", he tweeted.

Instead, according to a Reuters report, the statement credited the president for his "willingness" to improve relations with the North, even as it accused the State Department of being "bent" on bringing relations "back to the status of past year which was marked by exchanges of fire".

Just last month, satellite images of North Korea's nuclear test sites were released, suggesting the regime is continuing to develop ballistic missiles.

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