North Korea slams US’ Pompeo over sanctions

By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – North Korea on Monday slammed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for advocating continuous pressure on the communist state.
In a statement released to the state-run media, Pyongyang’s new point-man on negotiations with the U.S. warned that North Korea will take its "own way" as the denuclearization negotiations remained stalled, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
Pompeo last Wednesday urged the world community to remain united in efforts to push North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons.
"The initiative for dialogue that the U.S. had proposed to buy time and to create favorable conditions for negotiations for its president was seriously damaged," the North Korean statement said.
"His [Pompeo's] words have led us to lose the will for dialogue for sure again."
Last week, North Korea along with seven other member states of UN had requested the world body to push for full lifting of unilateral sanctions against them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also has called for easing sanctions against countries fighting COVID-19 which has killed over 34,000 since last December when it first appeared in Wuhan city of China.
The North Korean official said: "However, great and strong the friendly relationship between the leaders of the two nations is, it cannot change the U.S.' hostile policy against us."
The denuclearization dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea remains stuck since 2019 February when U.S. President Donald Trump walked out of a summit in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump also sent a personal letter to Kim last week where he had expressed his intent to help Pyongyang fight against the coronavirus. Pyongyang was yet to respond to the U.S. offer when Pompeo’s comments came.
North Korea is facing severe sanctions from UN and the U.S. over its nuclear program since mid-2000 after Pyongyang tested its independent nuclear arsenal.