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N.K. urges U.S. to come to senses, stop sticking to sanctions

All Headlines 19:12 December 13, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official news agency on Thursday strongly blamed the United States for the impasse in their nuclear talks, saying Pyongyang is waiting for Washington to come to its senses and take corresponding steps for its denuclearization measures, instead of sticking to sanctions.

"Prospects of relations between the DPRK and the U.S. depend on when the U.S. will wake up from its foolish thought," the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary. "The exit will be for the U.S. to build up stairs with measures corresponding to the steps we have taken and walk up the stairs."

Nuclear negotiations between the two countries have stalled as the North wants sanctions relief in exchange for the denuclearization steps it has taken so far, such as blowing up its nuclear testing site, while the U.S. insists on keeping sanctions until the North takes further denuclearization measures.

The North appears to have used KCNA commentary, not an official statement from the foreign ministry, as part of efforts to express complaint against the U.S.'s unwillingness to ease sanctions without breaking off negotiations.

"The DPRK-U.S. negotiations are now at a deadlock," it said. "The international community is expressing frustration and disappointment as it is unclear when the stalled train of negotiations will start moving. Who is to blame? The U.S. is to blame. There is no doubt about it."

It went on, "How can the train of negotiation move when only the DPRK moves and the U.S. stands still?"

KCNA also said that the North has taken a string of measures, such as suspending nuclear and missile tests and repatriating the remains of U.S. soldiers, saying the U.S. "owes greatly to us."

Sanctions won't work against the North as the country has survived decades of sanctions, it said.

"Just like it is impossible to start a fire in water, improvement in the DPRK-U.S. relations cannot go in tandem with sanctions and pressure," KCNA said.
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