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N. Korea accuses U.S. of deceptive attitude toward Iran

All Headlines 09:56 June 16, 2019

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official news agency has accused the United States of a "deceptive" attitude toward Iran, saying Washington slapped fresh sanctions on an Iranian firm only a week after offering talks.

Earlier this month, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (PGPIC), Iran's largest and most profitable petrochemical group, accusing it of providing support to a construction firm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The sanctions came after the U.S. offered to hold talks with Iran without preconditions.

On Saturday, Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency denounced the U.S. offer of talks as "deceptive." It also cited an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman as saying that the dialogue offer is not genuine and the key to resuming talks is a change in the U.S. attitude.

The KCNA report appears to reflect Pyongyang's frustrations over the impasse in the North's own denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. in the wake of February's no-deal summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The U.S. has called for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table. But the North has been urging Washington first to drop its hard-line stance in the negotiations and come up with a new proposal acceptable to Pyongyang.
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