North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.
KCNA/Reuters
By Eli Meixler
August 27, 2018

North Korea’s state-controlled newspaper accused the U.S. of “double-dealing” on Sunday after Washington canceled a planned visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as negotiations over the pariah state’s nuclear arsenal continue to stall.

An editorial in North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun paper criticized American “double-dealing attitudes,” and alleged that the U.S. was “busy staging secret drills involving man-killing special units while having a dialogue with a smile on its face,” Reuters reports. The newspaper said the U.S. was holding war drills with Japan that planned “the infiltration into Pyongyang,” the North Korean capital.

“Such acts prove that the U.S. is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK,” the editorial said. A U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Seoul told Reuters that there was no information available about the alleged drill.

Japan’s Defense Ministry announced that it was considering joint U.S. air exercises using specialized aircraft, The Japan Times reported last week. The U.S. has also canceled and postponed military drills with South Korea at North Korea’s behest.

Read more: I Was an Admiral. Why Trump Ending ‘War Games’ Is a Mistake

Little progress has been made toward ending hostilities since the landmark summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June. North Korea has pushed for a peace agreement to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War, (the two nations technically remain at war as only an armistice was signed, rather than a peace treaty.) But critics said that such a deal would prompt the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea.

Pompeo has pushed for more substantive evidence that North Korea is dismantling its nuclear weapons program after Kim signed the agreement in Singapore that pledged to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” President Trump advised Pompeo on Friday to delay a planned trip to Pyongyang, saying that North Korea was “not making sufficient progress” toward denuclearization.

Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com.

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