North Korea Threatens to Revive Nuke Program Over US Sanctions

North Korean Hackers Continue to Hack Computers to Mine Cryptocurrencies

North Korean Hackers Continue to Hack Computers to Mine Cryptocurrencies

While Pyongyang believes its concessions and efforts to improve relations with the US have not been properly recognized, Washington believes insufficient steps have been taken on the core issue - denuclearization - to justify any amendments to the contemporary sanctions regime.

A recent statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry has said the country may shift back to its policy of "pyongjin", suggesting equal development of the economy and nuclear armaments, if the USA does not change its approach and keeps up its sanctions against Pyongyang, AP reported.

"A lot of work remains, but I'm confident that we will keep the economic pressure in place until such time as chairman Kim fulfils the commitment he made to President Trump back in June in Singapore", he said. That echoes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's recent comments, saying that "vicious" sanctions stand in the way of promoting the country's development and lead instead "to change and submission".

Ahead of his first summit with Moon in April, Kim said the country should shift its focus to economic development as the "pyongjin" policy had achieved a "great victory". The statement referred to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Friday, Mr Pompeo said he planned to resume talks with North Korea on taking firmer steps towards denuclearisation and organising another summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim. The North dismantled its nuclear testing ground in May, but didn't invite experts to observe and verify the event.

Following a series of provocative nuclear and missile tests previous year, Kim shifted to diplomacy when he met with Trump between three summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who lobbied hard to revive nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Seoul.

It is the first time Pyongyang has threatened to resume its nuclear weapons programme since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump met for the first time in June.

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That oft-repeated refrain about pressure is the problem in Pyongyang's eyes.

Responding to Washington's ongoing public aversion to North Korea sanctions relief, a director of the foreign ministry-linked Institute for American Studies warned that Pyongyang may reconsider Kim Jong Un's April 2018 directive to focus exclusively on economic development.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said that sanctions will stay in place until Pyongyang shows its commitment to the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"We can not help laughing at such a foolish idea", it said.

The development comes amid strained ties between South Korea and the United States over how to negotiate denuclearisation with North Korea.

"The US will be able to dodge piteous future that may do harm to itself and the world only when it gives up high flying desire and one-sided viewpoint", it wrote.

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