During landmark talks with US President Donald Trump in June, the North's leader Kim Jong Un signed up to a vague commitment to denuclearisation, far from the longstanding American demand for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of Pyongyang's atomic arsenal.
North Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday it had stopped testing missiles, conducted nuclear tests and dismantled "the nuclear test ground", yet the United States still insisted on "denuclearization first".
"The firms appear to have illicitly brought it in expecting big trading margins after prices of North Korean coal had dropped due to the import ban", Roh Suk-hwan, deputy commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, told a news conference.
The country claimed that the U.S.is denying it "basic decorum" and is clinging "to the outdated acting script which the previous administrations have all tried and failed", warning that they "cannot expect any progress in the implementation" of the joint agreement between the two countries reached earlier this year.
Napolitano: Judge in Manafort Trial Showing an 'Extraordinary Bias' Against the Government
But Kevin Downing, an attorney representing Manafort, got in one final swipe at Gates before his testimony came to an end. On Tuesday, Downing asked how the jury could believe Gates "after all the lies you told and fraud you committed".
"However, the USA responded to our expectation by inciting worldwide sanctions and pressure against the DPRK".
"We hoped that these goodwill measures would contribute to breaking down the high barrier of mistrust existing between the DPRK and the USA and to establishing mutual trust".
It continued: "Now, the issue in question is that going against the intention of President Trump to advance the DPRK - US relations, some high level officials within the US administration are making baseless allegations against us and making desperate attempts at intensifying the worldwide sanctions and pressure. The U.S. should, even at this belated time, respond to our honest efforts in a corresponding manner". Last month, Washington warned against loosening sanctions on Pyongyang after Russian Federation and China suggested discussing such a move.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton has also weighed in on the issue, saying Sunday that nobody in Trump's administration is "starry-eyed" about the prospect "of North Korea actually denuclearising". Some experts say that North Korea does not want to denuclearize first or maybe denuclearize at all because it wants a long, drawn-out process that sees external aid shipped in in return for abandoning nuclear weapons.