South Korea firms caught importing coal, iron from North: Seoul

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North Korea on Thursday denounced USA calls for enforcing worldwide sanctions despite its goodwill moves and said progress on denuclearization promises could not be expected if Washington followed an "outdated acting script".

North Korea remains unchanged in its will to implement agreements made by the top leaders of North Korea and the United States during their Singapore talks, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted a foreign ministry spokesperson as saying on Thursday.

But the North Korea statement separates Mr. Trump from "high-level officials", thus allowing the the country to rail against the US, while leaving the door open for the president to continue his dialogue with leader Kim Jong Un. Those followed contentious remarks last week by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore.

The fresh anger out of Pyongyang comes as top diplomats from the United States have strongly criticised the North's commitment to denuclearisation.

The White House and US State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The two sides vowed at that time to work towards North Korea's denuclearisation but have struggled to reach a deal to meet that goal, with the United States insisting that sanctions pressure must be maintained during negotiations.

It will mark the fourth such football match between North and South Korean workers, with the last game taking place in Pyongyang in 2015.

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Earlier on Thursday, North Korea's Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that ending the Korean War is "the first process for ensuring peace and security not only in the Korean peninsula but also in the region and the world".

North Korea warned Thursday that there could be no progress in its denuclearization as it accused some senior US officials of trying to strengthen global sanctions on Pyongyang.

"This is all in North Korea's court", Haley told reporters traveling with her during a visit to Colombia, where she attended the inauguration of new Colombian President Ivan Duque and met migrants who had fled Venezuela. "However, the US responded to our expectation by inciting worldwide sanctions and pressure against the DPRK", the statement read, using an acronym for North Korea's official name.

The United States was "attempting to invent a pretext for increased sanctions against the DPRK by mobilising all their servile mouthpieces and intelligence institutions to fabricate all kinds of falsehoods".

But Washington has urged the global community to maintain maximum sanctions pressure, even suggesting tougher economic measures, in a bid to compel Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

Officials said they were also looking into whether any of the 14 vessels that transported North Korean coal violated sanctions banning such shipments.

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