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N Korea: US ‘hell bent’ on hostility and ‘obsessed with sanctions’

North Korea says the US is “hell bent” on hostile acts and “obsessed with sanctions” – three days after Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met in what Pyongyang called an “amazing event”.

A press statement from Pyongyang’s UN Mission accused the US of trying to exert “overt pressure” and have the world’s nations implement UN sanctions.

It said the US and 23 other countries sent a letter to the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on North Korea demanding urgent action “under the absurd pretext of ‘excess in the amount of refined petroleum imported”‘.

Image: North Korea says the US is obsessed with sanctions

The US and the other countries accused North Korea of violating UN sanctions by importing more refined petroleum products than it is allowed.

It has an annual limit of 500,000 barrels, which is key for its economy.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump north of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s historic handshake with Donald Trump

But last month Russia and China blocked the sanctions committee from declaring that Pyongyang breached the annual import limit.

North Korea’s UN Mission said the United States, Britain, France and Germany then circulated a joint letter to all UN member states on 29 June “calling for repatriation of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea) workers abroad, thus inciting an atmosphere of sanctions and pressure against the DPRK”.

More from North Korea

That day, Mr Trump issued an unprecedented invitation to meet Mr Kim at the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea.

Mr Kim accepted, and at their meeting on Sunday, Mr Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea when he crossed the demarcation line.

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The pair agreed at the meeting to restart negotiations designed to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, and North Korea’s state media described their meeting as “an amazing event”.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un stand at the military demarcation line dividing North and South Korea
Image: Mr Trump and Mr Kim stand at the Military Demarcation Line dividing North and South Korea

But despite the summits between Mr Trump and Mr Kim in Singapore and Vietnam, the United States has maintained pressure on countries to implement the sanctions.

“It is quite ridiculous for the United States to continue to behave obsessed with sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK, considering sanctions as a panacea for all problems,” North Korea’s mission said.

“As we stated on several occasions, we do not thirst for lifting of sanctions.”

The North Korean Mission also had a message for the other 192 UN member nations: “All UN member states will have to keep vigilance against deliberate attempts by the United States to undermine the peaceful atmosphere that has been created on the Korean peninsula in no easy way.”

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