Japan reports suspected North Korea sanctions breach

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korea's former military intelligence chief opened talks Thursday to try to salvage an on-again, off-again summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea suggested that Trump made this decision based on Pyongyang's unwillingness to unilaterally denuclearize, as the DPRK has continuously stressed that it was not interested in unilateral demands from the U.S. on denuclearization and would negotiate with Trump only if he is seeking to improve bilateral relations.

"That doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting, maybe you have to have a second or a third and maybe we'll have none, but it's in good hands, that I can tell you", Trump said.

Japan is reportedly seeking foreign ministers talks with North Korea amid working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang ahead of their potential summit.

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Pompeo talks with Kim Yong Chol - the most critical of three tracks of negotiations now taking place between the two governments in the USA, in the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone, and in Singapore - are aimed at determining whether a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, originally scheduled for June 12 but later cancelled by Trump, can be restored.

It encouraged North Koreans "to firmly stand on the path that our previous leaders' built for national defense" and pledged that the country will "hold our artillery to face our enemies who hold guns and swords, '" said the source.

Kim Yong Chol is a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee.

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The source also noted that the statement says: "In order to become a world power that no other countries can attempt to attack, we need to maintain the achievements that we have earned by tightening our belt and continue the decades of years of hard work of our past generations".

Russian Federation has forcefully injected itself into the fraught diplomatic dance around North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, demanding the worldwide community lift sanctions on Pyongyang before it even begins to dismantle its arsenal.

The U.S. has formally been demanding that the North, formally known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK, drop its nuclear and long-range missile programs amid reports that it could hit mainland North America.

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Reported by Myungchul Lee for RFA's Korean Service.