North Korean youths take their morning run as smoke billows from the chimneys of Pyongyang Power Plant in the background in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Dec. 15, 2018.
Dita Alangkara—AP/REX/Shutterstock
December 16, 2018 11:05 AM EST

North Korea told the U.S. that sanctions and pressure—as evident from the past—won’t work to force the country into action on its nuclear program.

“The U.S. should realize before it is too late that ‘maximum pressure’ would not work against us and take a sincere approach to implementing the Singapore DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement,” the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Sunday, citing a statement from the policy research director of the Institute for American Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“President Trump avails himself of every possible occasion to state his willingness to improve DPRK-U.S. relations,” according to the statement, which added that the State Department, however, is “instead bent on bringing the DPRK-U.S. relations back to the status of last year which was marked by exchanges of fire.”

North Korea has been proposing relations be improved on a step-by-step approach “of resolving what is feasible one by one, by giving priority to confidence building,” according to the statement.

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