EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS VERSION CORRECTS AN ERROR IN AN EARLIER VERSION THAT MISIDENTIFIED THE DATE OF AN UPCOMING G-20 SUMMIT.
North Korea on Friday blamed the “arbitrary and dishonest” U.S. position for the failure to reach a deal during a second North Korea-U.S. summit, warning the nuclear issue would never be resolved without a new American approach.
A spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry accused the United States of trying to shift the blame for the breakdown of the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in February by raising a “completely irrelevant issue”.
He did not elaborate.
The statement was the latest criticism of the United States since the failed summit in Vietnam, where Kim had sought sanctions relief in return for the partial dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear program.
But Trump called for a roadmap toward full denuclearization including the transfer of bombs to the United States.
Tension between the two nations has again mounted in recent weeks.
Pyongyang shared these still images of a short-range missile launch, suggesting a return to provocative weapons testing.
The U.S. downplayed that development.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTING U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY PATRICK SHANAHAN, SAYING (APRIL 18, 2019): it's not a ballistic missile, OK?
And then there's no change to our posture.
Earlier in May the administration began addressing North Korea's human rights record.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, MARK CASSAYRE, SAYING (MAY 9, 2019): "We recommend that North Korea first, immediately dismantle all political prison camps, release all political prisoners, institute protections against arbitrary detention that guarantee due process and fair trial, and grant international observers, including U.N.
Special procedures, unimpeded and unrestricted access to the country and to all detention facilities." And last week the U.S. seized a North Korean freighter, alleging the vessel was used to circumvent sanctions.
The move outraged Pyongyang (SOUNDBITE) (English) NORTH KOREA AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS IN GENEVA, HAN TAE SONG, SAYING (MAY 22, 2019): "America should ponder the consequences its heinous act might have impact on the future developments and it should return our ship immediately." Kim has set a year-end deadline for the United States to show more flexibility, but Trump and other U.S. officials have brushed that aside, calling for Kim to take action on a commitment to denuclearize.