North Korea: US 'hell bent on hostile acts'

North Korea complains to UN about US letter urging countries to send back North Korean workers.

Elad Benari ,

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump
Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump

North Korea complained on Wednesday after the United States sent a letter urging countries to send back North Korean workers as President Donald Trump was inviting Kim Jong Un to hold talks, AFP reports.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations said the letter sent to all UN member-states showed that the United States is "practically more and more hell-bent on the hostile acts" against North Korea despite claiming that it is seeking dialogue.

The mission said the letter from the United States, along with Britain, France and Germany, was sent on June 29, the day Trump tweeted that he would like to shake Kim's hand and say hello during his visit to the demilitarized zone on the Korean peninsula.

"What can't be overlooked is the fact that this joint letter game was carried out by the permanent mission of the United States to the UN under the instruction of the State Department, on the very same day when President Trump proposed (for) the summit meeting," said a press statement from the North Korean mission, according to AFP.

The US letter was in fact sent on June 27 and called on all countries to apply sanctions provisions that call for the return of all North Korean workers by the end of 2019.

Trump met with Kim on Sunday, becoming the first US president to step onto North Korean soil at the demilitarized zone. He said the two leaders agreed to start working-level talks on a denuclearization deal.

The US President later said that the meeting with Kim was “great” and added that he looked forward to meeting him again, while also adding that teams from both countries “will be meeting to work on some solutions to very long term and persistent problems.”

Nuclear talks between the US and North Korea broke down after the failed summit between Kim and Trump in February in Vietnam.

Trump abruptly ended the summit with Kim in the capital of Vietnam, explaining that, while "we had a productive time," no deal was signed.

He said at the time that Kim had asked for total removal of sanctions before denuclearization, something to which the US could not agree.

Trump indicated recently that he is “in no rush” to make a deal with North Korea to get it to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, though he touted what he called his positive relationship with Kim.

UN experts estimate that tens of thousands of North Koreans are sent abroad every year, mostly to China and Russia, working in slave-like conditions to generate hard currency revenue for Pyongyang.

"We do not thirst for lifting of sanctions," the North Korean mission said on Wednesday, adding that it was "quite ridiculous" for the United States to consider sanctions as a "panacea for all problems."