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China delays USA bid to blacklist ships, firms over N Korea

04 March 2018

North Korea dismissed the report, although intelligence experts estimate the North has weaponised stockpiles of as many as 25 chemical agents, including sarin and VX nerve gas.

But the North's foreign ministry said Washington's call for preconditions only reaffirms that it does not want to resume dialogue.

"If the USA finally holds joint military exercises while keeping sanctions on the DPRK, the DPRK will counter the United States by its own mode of counteraction and the U.S. will be made to own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences", North Korea's official KCNA news agency said in its commentary.

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State media has also hit back at Washington, reiterating the North's long-held assertion that the USA used biological and chemical weapons against civilians during the Korean War.

The U.N. request coincided with the United States imposing its largest package of unilateral sanctions against North Korea on Friday, intensifying pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

North Korea is believed to have banked on cryptocurrency past year to counter worldwide sanctions over the reclusive nation's nuclear and missile programs, according to a report by a USA broadcaster.

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North Korea's representative told the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva last month that Pyongyang stands ready to fight back against any military provocation from the United States, the North's official media reported Saturday.

"Whether peace desired by our nation and the rest of the world settles on the Korean Peninsula or a situation that no one desires is developed in the vicious cycle of confrontation depends entirely on the attitude of the United States", the spokesman said, according to KCNA.

During the closing ceremony for the recently concluded Olympics in South Korea, the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced that a North Korean delegate to the Olympics said his country is willing to hold talks with the U.S. President Donald Trump responded by saying talks will happen only "under the right conditions". Moscow also believes it was Washington's saber-rattling and regular military drills in the region that provoked Pyongyang into "taking some rash action" after months of restraint, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following North Korea's latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in November.

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China delays USA bid to blacklist ships, firms over N Korea