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U.S. reaffirms commitment to Singapore deal after N.K. protest

All Headlines 01:57 November 14, 2019

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed to his agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to build lasting peace and achieve complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday in response to Pyongyang's latest protest against allied military exercises.

A spokesman for the North's top governing body, the State Affairs Commission, warned the U.S. earlier Wednesday of a "greater threat" should Washington go ahead with planned air drills with South Korea later this month.

South Korea and the U.S. have reduced the scope of their combined drills in support of diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the North, but Pyongyang views all allied exercises as an invasion rehearsal.

"President Trump remains committed to making progress toward the Singapore commitments of transformed relations, building lasting peace, and complete denuclearization," a State Department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency, referring to the agreement reached between Trump and Kim at their first summit in Singapore in June 2018.

North Korea has claimed that Trump agreed to cancel military exercises during the Singapore summit.

The commission spokesman said "betrayal" is the only thing North Korea feels after having given "things the U.S. president can brag about." The spokesman was likely to referring to the regime's suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests.

Denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since a second summit between Trump and Kim in February ended without any deal.

The two sides last held working-level talks in October in Sweden, but that meeting also ended without any agreement due to gaps between U.S. demands for complete denuclearization and North Korean demands for sanctions relief and security guarantees.

North Korea has threatened it will follow a "new way" if the U.S. does not come up with an acceptable proposal by the end of the year.

U.S. reaffirms commitment to Singapore deal after N.K. protest - 1

hague@yna.co.kr
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