South Korea firms caught importing coal, iron from North: Seoul

John Bolton Says North Korea Hasn't Done Much To Rid Itself Of Nuclear Weapons

The White House and State Department did not immediately return requests for comment.

The rival Koreas may try to seek a breakthrough amid what experts see as little progress on nuclear disarmaments between Pyongyang and Washington despite the Singapore summit in June and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's several visits to North Korea.

The United States was "attempting to invent a pretext for increased sanctions against the DPRK".

North Korea went ahead with the return of the remains of some US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean war in a goodwill measure aimed at breaking down mistrust between the countries, it said.

USA officials have declined to comment on a report on the Vox news website Wednesday saying that North Korea had repeatedly rejected a US proposal for it to cut its nuclear arsenal by 60 to 70 percent within six to eight months.

"The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner", North Korea added in its statement. But the United States has repeatedly reiterated that North Korea's complete denuclearization comes before such a goal, amid slower-than-expected progress in relevant talks.

Yet Washington was still insisting on "denuclearization first" and had "responded to our expectation by inciting worldwide sanctions and pressure" it said.

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North Korea rejected USA appeals to give up part of its nuclear arsenal and reaffirmed its friendship with Iran yesterday as the fragile detente between the two nuclear powers began to disintegrate.

The North Korean government said in a statement through its mission to the United Nations that it has halted nuclear missile tests, dismantled a nuclear test site and begun to return the remains of Americans killed in the Korean War, but lamented continued criticism from USA officials.

The inter-Korean meeting on Monday will be held at Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in the border village of Panmunjom.

It wasn't clear when another inter-Korean summit might happen, but if the April 27 summit agreements between Moon and Kim are followed through on, the leaders will likely meet in Pyongyang in the next couple of months. Russian Federation and China have suggested the U.N. Security Council could discuss loosening sanctions on Pyongyang after the June 12 Singapore meeting between Trump and Kim.

Declaring an end to the war is the "demand of our time" and will be the "first process" toward a peace and security guarantee, the state-run "Rodong Sinmun" newspaper said.

Mr Bolton said Mr Pompeo would be prepared to return to North Korea for talks, but not for more rhetoric. The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the fighting ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty. But Trump has already given Kim some concessions, including ending joint military drills with South Korea.

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