North Korea condemns Washington sanctions, warns to block denuclearization

Kim Jong-un marks father's death anniversary

US "In No Hurry" Over North Korea Nuclear Negotiations, Says Donald Trump

The statement also adds that If the US administration believed that heightened sanctions and pressure would force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons, "it will count as its greatest miscalculation, and it will block the path to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula forever".

"Chairman Kim and I just signed a joint statement, in which he confirmed his unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", President Trump stated following their meeting.

North Korea has condemned the United States for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the regime.

North Koreans mark the seventh anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong Il with visits on Monday to statues and vows of loyalty to his son and successor, Kim Jong Un.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's return visit to Seoul is unlikely to take place this month, a senior South Korean official has said.

An editorial by the North Korean government in the state-run news service KCNA threatened that "DPRK-US relations back to the status of past year which was marked by exchanges of fire".

Jong Kyong Thaek was blacklisted alongside Choe Ryong Hae, whom the Treasury Department said is the director of North Korea's Organization and Guidance Department.

Trump, who has said he will hold a second summit with Kim sometime next year, has also played down hopes for any imminent deal to persuade the North to give up its nuclear arsenal.

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"Now, the worldwide society is unanimous in welcoming the proactive denuclearization steps taken by the DPRK and urging the U.S.to respond to these steps in a corresponding manner", it reads.

Fred Warmbier, the father of American student Otto Warmbier who died past year after being held captive in North Korea, attended the seminar on Saturday and said December 12 would have marked his late son's 24th birthday.

He called for stepped-up efforts to "fulfill the obligation and duties as his revolutionary soldiers" and work hard to "implement his plan and desire to the last without an inch of deflection and any concession".

It was the leader's first public activity in two weeks after visiting a shoe factory in Wonsan earlier this month.

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A second summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim is expected to be held next year, with Mr Trump facing criticism over the planned talks since North Korea has taken few concrete steps to abandon its missile programmes.Pyongyang has long said it needs the weapons to deter a possible U.S. invasion.

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