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North Korea accuses US of ‘a criminal plot to unleash war’ after canceled meeting

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un shake hands in North Korea. (White House)
August 27, 2018

After the United States canceled a meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials, North Korea has taken to its media to criticize the U.S.

Over the weekend, North Korean state-owned newspaper Rodong Sinmun accused the U.S. of “a criminal plot to unleash a war,” and of using military units stationed in Japan for an infiltration attempt on Pyongyang, according to a report by The Hill on Sunday.

“Such acts prove that the U.S. is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK and commit a crime which deserves merciless divine punishment in case the U.S. fails in the scenario of the DPRK’s unjust and brigandish denuclearization first,” the newspaper said.

“We cannot but take a serious note of the double-dealing attitudes of the U.S. as it is busy staging secret drills involving man-killing special units while having a dialogue with a smile on its face,” the paper added.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Seoul did not have any information on the supposed drill alleged by the North Korean newspaper, according to a Reuters report.

The accusations follow President Trump’s announcement on Friday in which he requested the cancelation of Pompeo’s meeting over the lack of denuclearization progress with North Korea.

The visit was expected to be Pompeo’s fourth to North Korea, and the second in just two months.

In a three-part tweet, President Trump said: “I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula…”

“… Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)…,” he continued.

“… Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved. In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon,” Trump added.

The newspaper urged the U.S. to abandon what it calls a “pointless military gamble” and implement the measures stipulated by the agreement signed in Singapore by President Trump and Kim Jong Un in June.

Negotiations over denuclearization have come to a standstill between the U.S. and North Korea as both sides are hesitant to concede to the others’ demands. North Korea is demanding security guarantees, including a declaration of peace, in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons program. The U.S. maintains it cannot guarantee peace until further progress on denuclearization has been achieved.

A United Nations nuclear watchdog group recently reported “a cause for grave concern” after it used satellite imagery to verify continued nuclear activities at a Yongbyon nuclear power plant and enrichment facility.