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North Korea condemns U.S. sanctions

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North Korea condemns U.S. sanctionsDonald TrumpDonald Trump

North Korea condemns U.S. sanctions

North Korea warns they will return to 'exchanges of fire' after the U.S. stepped up sanctions last week.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also pays homage to his father.

Ryan Brooks reports.


North Korea condemns U.S. sanctions

A stinging response from North Korea on Sunday (December 16), after the U.S. stepped up sanctions last week.

While state media released video of leader Kim Jong Un paying homage to his father, the foreign ministry warned of a return to 'exchanges of fire', and said disarming Pyongyang could be blocked forever.

It comes after new measures from the White House last week with Washington slapping sanctions on three North Korea officials including a top Kim aide for alleged human rights abuses.

It's not clear if that was related to nuclear diplomacy, while U.S. President Donald Trump maintains he has a good relationship with Kim.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We fell in love." Since he met Kim in Singapore, denuclearization has made little headway.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was set to meet his North Korean counterpart in November.

Those talks were suddenly cancelled, and have yet to be rescheduled.

Ambassador to the U.N.

Nikki Haley put the onus on North Korea.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS NIKKI HALEY, SAYING: "I have talked with the administration and basically what we're looking at is they postponed it because they weren't ready and Secretary Pompeo and the administration stand ready to talk." On Sunday (December 16), the North's foreign ministry did give Trump the thumbs up for his 'willingness' to mend ties.

But it pointed the finger at the State Department for being 'bent on bringing relations back to the status of last year'.

It added that if the U.S. thought more sanctions could force Pyongyang to shed its nuclear weapons, 'it will count as its greatest miscalculation.'

Trump has said he and Kim are likely to meet a second time in early 2019.

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