The U.S. on Sunday downplayed North Korea's short-range missile launches, saying it believes there still is an opportunity to reach an agreement to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News "This Week" that the barrage of projectiles Pyongyang launched into waters off its shores did not cross over any other country.
"We still believe there's an opportunity" for an agreement with North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program, the top U.S.
Warning there is a "limit to our patience," North Korea has called on the United States to change its approach to nuclear talks.
In a statement published Tuesday by the official Korean Central News Agency, a North Korean foreign ministry official said that if Washington doesn't change its approach, the statement signed last year in Singapore would turn out to be a "mere blank sheet of paper."
“The U.S. would be well-advised to change its current method of calculation and respond to our request as soon as possible,” the North Korean statement said. “There is a limit to our patience.”
North Korea is blaming the United States for deadlocked nuclear negotiations, vowing they will "never be resumed" unless Washington abandons demands for disarmament.
U.S. President Donald Trump's second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi ended in February without agreements on sanctions relief for Pyongyang and on concessions the North would make regarding its banned nuclear and ballistic programs.
A statement issued Friday through Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency, citing a North Korean spokesman, accused the U.S.
A February summit in Vietnam between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump broke down over disagreements on how to match the pace of sanctions relief with steps to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program.
Since then, there have been no outward signs of progress in the talks.
Citing a single, anonymous source, South Korea’s Choson Ilbo last week reported Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s top envoy to the U.S., had been executed after the failed Hanoi summit.
CNN on Tuesday reported the diplomat is still alive but in state custody and under investigation for his role in the summit. It also said that former spymaster Kim Yong Chol’s power has been “almost deprived” since the Hanoi meeting.
Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol has resurfaced in North Korean state media, raising further doubt about a report he was purged over a failed nuclear summit with the United States.
South Korea’s Choson Ilbo reported Friday that Kim, who helped lead recent talks with Washington, had been sent to a labor and reeducation camp as part of a wide-ranging and brutal leadership shakeup.
But on Monday the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) listed the former spymaster among a group of officials who attended a musical performance with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
It is still
Though Trump has repeatedly insisted his relationship with Kim remains positive, it is not clear how much contact the two men have had since the February summit. "I think the Chairman Kim would like to make a deal and I'd like to make a deal with him. I look forward to seeing him at the appropriate time," Trump said Wednesday.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said in April that Trump sends Kim pictures and letters, and even sent congratulations on the birthday of Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung.
In late May, when the president was visiting Japan, Bolton admitted there was no sign the outreach was working.
“We really have not heard much from North Korea since the Hanoi summit,” he told reporters. Bolton said Stephen Biegun, the Special Representative for North Korea, “is ready at any point to get on a plane and go anywhere to talk to them.”
Trump in Tokyo Downplays North Korea Concerns
Kim wants immediate sanctions relief in exchange for steps toward denuclearization. Trump has said he will not ease sanctions until North Korea agrees to give up its entire nuclear program.
North Korea is gradually ramping up pressure on Washington. Last month, it resumed ballistic missile tests for the first time in 17 months.
Kim said last month said he will give the U.S. until the end of the year to change its approach.