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

North Korea warned Thursday that there could be no progress in its denuclearization as it accused some senior USA officials of trying to strengthen worldwide sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korea also accused unidentified high-level USA officials of "going against the intention of President Trump" by "making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the global sanctions and pressure".

Trump has hailed North Korea's moves since his historic summit with leader Kim Jong Un during a summit in Singapore in June, where the US agreed to provide unspecified security guarantees in exchange for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang has also stepped up its calls for a formal end to the Korean War, which some analysts believe is meant to be the first step in the North's effort to eventually see all 28,500 US troops leave the Korean Peninsula. Among the agreements was holding another inter-Korean summit in the fall in Pyongyang.

The foreign ministry said that despite their efforts to work with the US - by stopping their missile launches and nuclear tests - America continues to insist on "denuclearization first", and continues to encourage worldwide sanctions against the North.

Manafort defence attorneys rip into star prosecution witness
Gates was hired by Manafort to serve as deputy campaign chairman and later had a role on Mr Trump's inaugural committee. Gates and Manafort were not targets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of the interview.

"The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner", North Korea added in its statement. Pompeo's comments came on the heels of a United Nations report that found North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and is violating U.N. sanctions, including through illicit ship-to-ship transfers of oil.

The inspection was supposed to be carried out from Friday until August 17 on the North Korean section of the road running from the border town of Kaesong to Pyongyang.

Relations between North Korea and the U.S. remain tense, despite reassurance from the U.S. State Department that the two countries are in contact with each other.

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".

The summit held in Singapore marked the first time Kim Jong-un had met a western leader.


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