N Korea: US ‘hell-bent’ on sanctions despite talks, Latest World News - The New Paper

N Korea: US ‘hell-bent’ on sanctions despite talks

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UNITED NATIONS: North Korea has accused the US of being "hell-bent on hostile acts" just days after the countries' leaders agreed to resume denuclearisation talks.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held an impromptu summit on North Korean soil on Sunday, where they smiled and shook hands, ending a standstill in discussions.

But in a quick shift in tone, Pyongyang's delegation to the United Nations on Wednesday said the US continues to be "obsessed with sanctions".

It complained that while Mr Trump invited Mr Kim to hold talks, the US had also sent a letter to all UN member-states urging them to send back North Korean workers.

The delegation claimed the letter - also signed by Britain, France and Germany - was sent on June 29, the same day Mr Trump tweeted that he would like to shake Mr Kim's hand during his visit to the Korean peninsula.

"What can't be overlooked is the fact that this joint letter game was carried out by the permanent mission of the United States to the UN under the instruction of the State Department, on the very same day when President Trump proposed (for) the summit meeting," said the press statement from the North Korean mission.

It shows that the US is "more and more hell-bent on the hostile acts" against North Korea, even while it is seeking dialogue, it added.

The US letter was in fact sent on June 27 and called on all countries to apply sanctions provisions that call for the return of all North Korean workers by the end of the year.

The UN estimates tens of thousands of North Koreans are sent abroad every year, mostly to China and Russia, working in slave-like conditions to generate hard currency for Pyongyang.

"We do not thirst for lifting of sanctions," the North Korean mission said, adding it was "quite ridiculous" for the US to consider the restrictions a "panacea for all problems". - AFP