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N.K. propaganda outlet slams U.S. for hindering inter-Korean cooperation

All Headlines 15:27 December 05, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean state propaganda outlet slammed the United States on Wednesday for hindering inter-Korean cooperation, saying it is because of U.S. pressure on South Korea that the conciliatory mood between the two Koreas has failed to deliver due outcomes.

The article, carried by Uriminjokkiri, the propaganda website, appeared to reflect Pyongyang's frustrations over the lack of tangible progress in economic cooperation projects with South Korea as the U.S. showed no willingness to ease sanctions on the North.

Top American officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have repeatedly stressed the importance of ensuring that improvement in inter-Korean ties moves in tandem with progress in denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Last month, the U.S. and the South established a joint working group aimed at coordinating their policies on the North. Critics view the establishment as an attempt by the U.S. to keep Seoul from moving too fast with cooperation with the North.

"Unlike hopes and expectations of our people, North-South relations are not producing due achievements," Uriminjokkiri said in the article. "It is because the United States' shameless rash act to block everything about inter-Korean relations while talking about the principle of 'speed adjustment.'"

It also accused the U.S. of pressuring the South to ensure that it doesn't act without U.S. permission.

Pompeo said last month that the U.S.-South working group on the North is designed to ensure that "we can be sure that we don't talk past each other, that we don't take an action, or the South Koreans don't take an action that the other is unaware of or hasn't had a chance to comment on, or provide their thoughts."

Denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled as the U.S. refuses to relax sanctions on Pyongyang while the North demands sanctions relief for denuclearization steps it has taken so far.
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