North Korea on Saturday criticised the United States for urging other countries to keep up sanctions against Pyongyang for its nuclear weapons programme. United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier in the day warned Russia, China and other countries against violating international sanctions on North Korea, AP reported.
But North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a security forum in Singapore that Washington is “raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions despite goodwill measures” Pyongyang has undertaken. However, he added that Pyongyang was committed to implementing the joint statement issued by United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June.
Pompeo had said last month that North Korea is continuing to produce fuel for nuclear bombs in spite of its pledge to denuclearise. On Saturday, he told the security forum in Singapore that the US has discovered that Russia is violating United Nations sanctions by allowing joint ventures with North Korean companies and taking in North Korean guest workers.
“Impatience is not helpful at all for building confidence,” Ri said, according to The Straits Times. “Especially, advancing unilateral demands will further deepen mistrust, instead of reviving trust.” Ri also accused the United States of pressuring other countries not to send delegations to North Korea for its 70th anniversary celebrations in September.
“The international community should respond to our goodwill measures already taken for denuclearisation with constructive steps, which would encourage and promote peace and economic development of the Korean peninsula,” the foreign minister added.
North Korea has not stopped its nuclear programme, says UN
Meanwhile, a confidential United Nations report has said that North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes, Reuters reported, citing documents its staff have seen on Friday. Independent experts monitoring the implementation of the United Nations sanctions submitted the report to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea late on Friday.
“North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” the report said. The report added that North Korea is cooperating with Syria militarily and is trying to sell weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen.