Washington's been pushing harder for North Korea to denuclearize and Pyongyang wants it to back off. On Thursday it denounced US calls for international pressure over its nuclear weapons. The North also pointed out recent shows of good faith, stopping nuclear tests, and returning the remains of American soldiers. But it said the US can't expect progress while aggressively pushing for sanctions at the same time.
In state media, the foreign ministry even accused top US officials of quote, going against the intention of President Trump by making baseless allegations against the North. They may be talking about comments this week from top US diplomats, who stress the need for Pyongyang to take more steps to get rid of its nuclear program.
Similar tensions at the ASEAN Summit earlier this week, where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho.>> We appreciate ASEAN's ongoing efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, support the rule of law in the South China Sea and to strictly enforce sanctions on North Korea.
>> After Pompeo left, Ri said Pyongyang was alarmed by US intentions and complained about US calls to maintain sanctions. After that he traveled to Iran, where President Hassan Rouhani told him the US can't be trusted because Trump pulled out of a 2015 deal to lift sanctions on Tehran.
>> But I ended the Iran deal, it was a ridiculous deal.>> But Trump might just be the man North Korea is looking to talk to. Two US officials told Reuters, Pyongyang appears to see the US President as having a softer touch. They even said that when a session with Pompeo reached an impasse last month, North Korean officials asked if he would like to step outside and call President Trump.
According to White House National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday, Trump has responded to a recent letter from Kim Jong-Un, saying he's ready to meet the North Korean leader anytime.