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North Korea Demands U.S. Cease ‘Hostile Policy’ as One-Year Anniversary of Summit Deal Approaches

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in the garden of the Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam Feb. 28, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the historic first summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump, North Korean state news agency KCNA upped tensions between the two countries, demanding Tuesday that the U.S. “withdraw its hostile policy” toward the state or face the disintegration of an agreement reached at the summit.

In a press release, KCNA warned that the four-point agreement the two leaders signed last year “is in danger of being a blank sheet of paper because the U.S. is turning a blind eye to its implementation.”

“The arrogant and unilateral U.S. policy will never work on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] which values sovereignty,” the release stated. “Now is the time for the U.S. to withdraw its hostile policy concerning the DPRK.”

It was not immediately clear what specific U.S. policy changes the North Korean government hoped to effect. The agreement reached at last year’s summit included pledges to foster a new relationship between North Korea and the U.S., establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, work toward denuclearizing North Korea, and repatriate the remains of deceased U.S. soldiers in North Korea. But talks at a follow-up summit in February broke down when North Korea demanded total sanctions relief and the removal of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while the U.S. continued to insist that the North completely dismantle its nuclear program.

Last month, North Korea made its first missile tests since November 2017. The tests had tapered off after the initial summit between Trump and Kim last year, but have ramped back up as negotiations began to falter thereafter.

“I think Chairman Kim would like to make a deal and I’d like to make a deal with him,” Trump said last week.

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