China talks on N.Korea

Trump and Kim Jong Un

A North Korean source told Radio Free Asia: 'The authorities propagandise that North Korea is the most powerful country in the world and Kim Jong-un is leading the world with his outstanding ability and courage, so why is he hurrying to meet President Trump in Panmunjom?

North Korea's mission to the United Nations in a statement accused the USA of being "more and more hell-bent on hostile acts" against Pyongyang.

North Korea is subject to a plethora of sanctions in response to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, with exports including coal, textiles and seafood banned, and a cap on petroleum imports.

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

The U.S. continues to be "hell-bent" on hostility towards North Korea despite recent high-level dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, the country's Permanent Mission to the United Nations said in a statement on Wednesday.

"[It] speaks to the reality that the United States is practically more and more hell-bent [on] hostile acts against the DPRK [North Korea]". "All UN member states will have to keep vigilance against deliberate attempts by the U.S. to undermine the peaceful atmosphere that has been created on the Korean Peninsula", it said.

"We hope the two sides meet each other halfway and resume consultations at the working level as soon as possible, based on the consensus reached by their leaders", the statement said.

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

Why has the atmosphere changed so quickly?

It's also a reminder, as another phase of diplomatic contacts beckons, that negotiating with Pyongyang is never going to be easy.

And its leader may have been strengthened by his three meetings with Mr Trump, irrespective of the minimal results obtained.

Negotiations with North Korea to try to convince it to abandon its controversial nuclear programme reached a peak a year ago when Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a summit in Singapore.

How are US-North Korea relations?

They both committed to the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula, but without clarifying what that meant.

Since then, North Korea has only doubled down on its calls for sanctions to be withdrawn, signaling that while lesser steps might be welcome, they would not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to give up nuclear assets. We'll see what happens.

Trump and Kim agreed at the meeting to restart negotiations created to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong Un also said he was surprised when Trump proposed the meeting the previous day in an apparent ploy to fall in line with Trump's desire to cast the meeting as a spur-of-the-moment event that largely came about because of the personal relationship of trust between the leaders.

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