North Korea accuses US of 'double-dealing' after Donald Trump cancels Pompeo visit

State-controlled newspaper says US special forces staging air drill aimed at 'infiltration into Pyongyang'

Editorial in state-run newspaper urges Washington to give up 'pointless military gamble'
Editorial in state-run newspaper urges Washington to give up 'pointless military gamble'

North Korea has accused the US of “double-dealing” and “hatching a criminal plot” against Pyongyang after Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a visit by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

Negotiations have made little progress since Mr Trump’s summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June.

Mr Pompeo has pressed for the North to show its dedication to abandon its nuclear arsenal, while Pyongyang has demanded Washington first makes concessions of its own.

In an editorial, the state-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun said US special forces units based in Japan were staging an air drill aimed at “the infiltration into Pyongyang,” citing a South Korean media outlet.

“Such acts prove that the US is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK and commit a crime which deserves merciless divine punishment in case the US fails in the scenario of the DPRK’s unjust and brigandish denuclearisation first,” the paper said, using the official name for North Korea - the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We cannot but take a serious note of the double-dealing attitudes of the US as it is busy staging secret drills involving man-killing special units while having a dialogue with a smile on its face,” it noted.

Mike Pompeo meets with North Korean officials on visit to Pyongyang

The editorial, which did not mention Mr Pompeo’s cancelled visit, urged Washington to give up the “pointless military gamble” and implement the Singapore agreement, in which the leaders pledged to work towards a complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Since the summit, both sides have struggled to narrow differences over the North’s nuclear weapons programme.

Pyongyang is calling for a declaration of peace as part of security guarantees designed to encourage it to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, while the Trump administration says a peace deal and other concessions will only come after more progress on denuclearisation.

In part to reassure North Korea, Mr Trump cancelled or delayed joint military drills with South Korea, but smaller exercises continue.

Mr Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested talks with Pyongyang could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing.

China expressed “serious concern” about Mr Trump’s comments, which it called “irresponsible”.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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