North Korea has hit back at a US State Department report released last week, saying the report’s description of Pyongyang as a sponsor of terrorism is an example of a “hostile policy” that may prevent denuclearization talks from progressing.
The report “proves once again” that US rejection of North Korea indicated “a hostile policy,” North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said in a statement.
North Korean and US officials held talks in October for the first time since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed in June to reopen denuclearization negotiations, but they broke down, with North Korea’s envoy saying the United States failed to show flexibility.
“The channel of dialogue between North Korea and the US is more and more narrowing due to such attitude,” said the KCNA statement, citing a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
Kim Jong Un had set in April an end-of-the-year deadline for denuclearization talks.
North Korea and the United States could hold another round of working-level talks as soon as mid-November to expedite progress, South Korean lawmaker Lee Eun-jae said on Monday after attending a briefing by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service.
The US State Department’s “Country Reports on Terrorism 2018” report released on Nov. 1 reaffirmed North Korea’s re-designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, saying “the DPRK government repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, as the DPRK was implicated in assassinations on foreign soil.”
Last year, the US imposed additional sanctions on North Korea over accusation that Pyongyang was behind killing of Kim Jong-un‘s estranged half brother Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia. The North has repeatedly denied the allegation.